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May 24, 2011 4:44 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Party Houses On Wheels

May 24, 2011 5:15 PM

Promgoers often take party buses not only to the main event but also to after-prom parties and on post-prom trips—from up the island out east to see the Montauk Lighthouse, for instance.

East Hampton Town Police Chief Ed Ecker said it’s not uncommon for local promgoers to take a party bus “from house party to house party” as opposed to driving in individual cars.

Essentially, a party bus is like a prom house on wheels, although it’s piloted by a licensed adult. Interiors are tricked out with features like plasma TVs, leather couches, a fancy stereo system, strobe lights, a wet bar and a private bathroom. “Onboard security” can be added as well, according to the website of one company, Party Ride, that operates locally.

The buses are used for occasions ranging from a birthday or bachelor’s party or a corporate event to a cross-country trip aboard King Phillip, the largest of the fleet, which “makes you feel like you stepped into a six-star hotel,” according to the website.

Promgoers might climb aboard Princess Olivia, a relatively small member of the company’s royal fleet, which seats 35. Here’s her bio on the website: “Sleek serenity and high-tech wizardry are the characteristics envisioned when Princess Olivia was created. A killer surround sound speakers system and custom light show including neon and laser lights accent the full leather couch style seating to better comfort your Party Ride.”

One of her sisters is Princess Cadit: “Casting off drab, safe colors, the Party Ride is ready to introduce our brand-spanking new black beauty: Princess Cadit. She is arguably the first party bus devoted to the philosophy of decoration—courage, color, balance, smart accessories and comfort.”

Bella and the other “queens” seat 40. The buses come in colors to match any occasion, according to the company.

Thirty junior promgoers might pay $3,000 for a 10-hour party on wheels in May in East Hampton, a representative said on the phone.

According to limos.com, another site, “sometimes a party doesn’t need a destination—in the case of the Party Bus Limo, the ride IS the destination.”

Limos.com can find a local vehicle to seat 20, 30, or more, its says. According to the website, interiors feature the usual bells and whistles as well as “the highly coveted ‘safety pole.’”

Adam Fine, East Hampton High School’s principal, said prom attendees usually have their pictures taken at home before the prom, which in East Hampton’s case was last Saturday. Then they set out for the school by limousine, party bus, car, or parental chauffeur. In today’s economy, he said late last week, there might be more arriving in relatively less regal rides.

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