For the first time in the event's 4-year history, a Canadian couple was crowned king and queen of Panama City Beach's Winter Resident Senior Prom. This year, the winning couple was Jack and Louise Mitchell, who hail from Ottawa, in Ontario, Canada. The event was held in Edgewater Resort's grand ballroom on February 10.
The couple is well known and liked by their fellow winter residents, and have been active in many of the winter resident activities that take place in Panama City Beach throughout the winter season. While visitors who vacation in Panama City Beach for weeks or months at a time to escape cold weather in their home regions have traditionally been known as "Snowbirds," more and more of these long-term visitors prefer the moniker "Winter Resident" to reflect their participation in the local community and characterize their sense of belonging. For many of these visitors, highlights of the season include a Homecoming Dance, the Senior Prom, Winter Resident Appreciation Days, and the Grand Finale, in addition to many other social gatherings which can include state days, Canada Days, group dinners, craft projects, golf specials, continuing education classes and dances.
Jack and Louise have been Winter Residents in Panama City Beach for the past 4 years, and consider their nomination and election as this year's prom king and queen as an affirmation of the close ties enjoyed between Canadians and Americans. Visibly touched, Louise shed a few tears of joy at the announcement that they had been chosen from the prom court for the honor, while all agreed that Jack looked quite dashing in his black and white formal wear.
Each year, nominees for the prom king and queen pour into the Panama City Beach Visitors Information Center, where top nominees are selected to be on the prom court. In the days leading up to the Winter Resident Senior Prom, supporters can vote for their candidates online, or using ballot boxes supplied by Visit Panama City Beach.
The new king and queen were honored at the dance, then joined other prom court members to ride on a parade float in the Panama City Beach Mardi Gras and Music Festival. They will also preside over the winter Resident Grand Finale on February 24.
Previous Kings and Queens of the Winter Resident Senior Prom include:
2014 - Jim and Connie Demulling, of Wisconsin
2013 - Mike and Brenda Sherwood, of Georgia
2012 - Jim and Carol Butzler, of Wisconsin
Professional photos taken at this year's Panama City Beach Winter Resident Senior Prom can be found here: www.2015seniorprom.shutterfly.com