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Take Note: Saturday-night fervor; Parallel Proms

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Tuxedos will be hard to come by in Lincoln, Neb., on April 29.

Nine area high schools inadvertently scheduled their senior proms for the last Saturday of this month, and retailers are struggling to meet the demand.

"Everybody's ganged up on us this year, and all of the tuxedo vendors are going crazy," said Jane Bedient, the manager of Holway Formal Wear in Lincoln.

Ms. Bedient said she's warning students to reserve tuxedos quickly. "We're not out of tuxedos yet," she said last week, "but the smaller sizes will run out."

The town's limousine services, florist shops, beauty salons, and restaurants also are expecting booming business that weekend. As of last week, only one limousine company in Lincoln had an opening for that night.

Photography studios also are feeling the crunch. Todd Snober of the Picture Man is calling in 30 reserve photographers for the night.

"Throw in two weddings and a bar mitzvah, and it's the busiest night of the year," he said.

Though retailers welcome the customers, most said they would have preferred the events to be spread out.

Officials at the high schools have said they will confer before scheduling next year's proms.

Parallel proms

In Dana Point, Calif., two young people are offering an alternative prom that they say will be more fun and less expensive than the official dance.

David Bailey, a senior at Dana Hills High School, and Nick Green, an alumnus of the school, are the co-owners of Conquest Enterprises, an entertainment company. They recently distributed 1,000 fliers to students at the school advertising the $60-a-couple event at an Anaheim hotel ballroom.

Dana Hills High School is charging $80 for its prom, slated for May 19.

Mr. Green said students have flooded his company with inquiries about the event, which will include a karaoke contest, casino games, and cash prizes.

But Principal Rickie Lundgren suggested that the two young men may have motives other than providing lower-cost entertainment. Ms. Lundgren told The Orange County Register that they were staging the event because they were upset about not being chosen as disk jockeys for the official prom. And, she said, they are jeopardizing the official event, which is an important fund-raiser for the school.

--Jessica Portner

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