Red & Whites: Busted!

Occasionally in the past, Red & White — the tux-and-long-dress, girl-ask-boy dance for Westport, Weston, Wilton and Fairfield seniors — has made headlines for less than chivalrous reasons. There’s been drinking, fights — the usual formal dance stuff.

The County Assembly board — sponsors of the charity ball — cracked down. Everyone is now breathalyzed both arriving and departing. All outerwear is coat-checked — purses too.

Well, last night there was another major problem.

But this one did not involve high school students. This time, it was bus and limo companies’ turn to behave badly.

stretch limo

According to an email from the County Assembly board, sent this morning to all parents of attendees, the state Department of Transportation was “anonymously notified about our event.” They arrived at the Stamford Marriott with Stamford police, and began checking buses and limos.

A number were out-of-state vehicles, without a license to operate in Connecticut. They were allowed to drop dance-goers off, but that was it. The drivers were “detained,” and their buses and limos towed.

Talk about a buzzkill!

Each company was supposed to provide alternate (and legal) transportation home for the riders, but that wasn’t happening.

CT dept trans“In order to provide safety for your children we attempted to keep them all in the same area as many of their buses were not here,” the County Assembly board wrote.

The board “encourages” parents to demand refunds of the miscreant bus and limo companies.

“They should never have accepted this job and left many of your children stranded and upset,” the email continued.

A number of parents jumped into cars to pick up their teenagers. I am sure that is the last thing they — parents and kids — wanted. I am also sure it is the first thing this year’s Red and White-goers will remember — years from now — about last night.

Tonight is the County Assembly — a similar dance, at the same hotel, for junior girls and their dates.

Added to the checklist — tux? dress? boutonniere? corsage? after-party? — is this one:

Legal driver?

8 responses to “Red & Whites: Busted!

  1. Sorry, but even if they were legally registered in another state and the drivers were legally licensed in another state, I think the reasonable thing would have been to take down the license numbers and companies and fine them AFTER they had driven the kids HOME instead of impounding the vehicles. Why were these kids and the parents – most of whom were relying on the limos and buses for safe transportation – punished?? I realize laws were broken and that the companies should have to pay accordingly, but it was counterintuative to strand these kids.

    • I don’t think the State cares. I think they are more intent on making the $$$$$. Also, shouldn’t the companies be the ones at fault? Considering that they KNOW what they were doing is illegal?

      I wonder who ratted out the dance. Someone with a vendetta. Hmm…

      • I completely agree that the companies are the ones at fault…but god forbid something happened to one or more of the kids as a direct result of the lack of transportation…BOTH the CT DOT and the bus/limo companies would be at fault (maybe not legally??).

  2. Ah, the Red and White Ball! That brings back memories I have forgotten (and a few that perhaps would be best left forgotton!)

    Until now, I always mistakingly thought that was just a Long Lots Junior High event, and based on the school colors of the time; I certainly did not know it has grown into such a huge event.

    Has the event advanced yet to the point where “boy can ask boy” and “girl can ask girl” out?

  3. The fights always end up being between Ludlowe and Staples seniors for some reason I’ve heard.