TRURO - Emily Annand ducked out of a heavy rain shower, checked her finely coiffed hair and giggled.
"Even with the rain, this is the best ... getting to see everyone and the party," said Annand, a Grade 12 Cobequid Educational Centre student, shortly after arriving at the Best Western Glengarry on Tuesday night for CEC's prom.
The dismal weather couldn't keep several hundred Colchester County students from smiling as they attended festivities in Truro, Brookfield and Tatamagouche. Well-dressed teenagers ran to greet friends, let loose on the dance floor and posed for what seemed to be never-ending pictures.
"This is symbolic of the end of the year ... my memories will be of the (school's) orange and blue spirit and prom and grad week is part of that," said Annand, of Truro, who will attend Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B. in the fall to study psychology.
Annand attended the CEC prom with her friend Kyle MacKenzie. The duo used to date and it was special for them to enjoy the prom together, he said.
"It's fun to be with friends and it brings the school year to a good close," said MacKenzie, who will study as a core student at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in September.
There was one part of the evening MacKenzie, of Valley, wasn't as fond of.
"All the photos. The worst part is getting pictures. My face is still sore from smiling," he said before the duo made their way through the massive crowd that was standing outside of the Glengarry as family and friends snapped more photos.
In Brookfield, the intermittent rain didn't dampen the spirits of students who've been waiting 13 years for their high school prom at South Colchester Academy.
"Nothing can really dampen that," Brookfield's Ariel McCoul said smiling. "We were out in the middle of the pouring rain taking pictures at the train station and the United Church."
Ryan Smith, of Hilden, agreed.
"You can't really do much about it so you've just got to make the best of it. We're still going to have a good time."
It was plain to see that's just what was happening for students and their families alike. In spite of the blustery winds - which made quick work of several umbrellas - and rain, everyone was sporting a smile as students entered the school and parents rushed, cameras in hand, to snap some memorable shots.
"It's a big night of celebration and basically the last night with all your friends," McCoul, 17, said. "It's our graduating year and you've got to celebrate it."
Brittany Robinson couldn't wait for prom night since getting her bright pink dress about four months ago.
"I've been waiting a while," she said. "I just thought it would be fun to dress up."
The weather also didn't stop students from making their grand arrivals in farm tractors and classic cars.
Once entering the school, couples walked the prom parade in the foyer before getting photos taken and entering the dance to party the night away.
In Tatamagouche, students from North Colchester High School gathered at the grainery, in the Creamery Square, before heading to the school for the prom.
"We had planned to gather at Paterson's Wharf for photos but had to change location because of the rain," said Baillie Saunders, one of the students who had organized the event and attended the prom with Tim MacDonald. "This was very last minute but it's a nice location and it's part of the community. We began coordinating this in September.
"This is a very exciting night for me. I've been waiting for this since tenth grade."
Students were able to have their photos taken among a variety of antiques in the historic building.
"This is a really special event that allows us to be together one last time before the end of the year," said Murray Foote, who accompanied Courtney Hines. "I'm really looking forward to the evening."
Ryan Nickerson, who attended with Taylor Blair, was full of smiles.
"I'm really happy just to be with her," he said.
His plans for the year ahead include working and saving money so he can study to become an electrician.
Some students travelled from Creamery Square to the school on a bus while others went in private cars. All were greeted by well wishers and cameras before they went inside to dance and celebrate.