THEY looked like young kings and queens.
That was how Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale described the 48 students of East Ipswich State School at their Prep Mini Ball on Friday night and it is hard to argue with that assessment.
The young boys and girls were resplendent in suits and ties and stylish dresses in a scene more akin to a clip from the film The Great Gatsby than a night out in good old Ipswich.
Cr Pisasale, who attended the event in his mayoral robes, said the Prep Mini Ball was an event on his calendar that he always made time for.
"It is a real joy for me to see the preparation that goes into it and the courtesy of the kids," he said.
"I want to congratulate the school because that is real life experience.
"To see the kids all dressed up is heart warming. They look like kings and queens.
Ipswich East State School Prep teacher and event co-ordinator Kym Thomas said the annual mini debutante ball celebrated the work the students had done throughout the year.
She said the event had been held for five years.
The children learn to dance and have a great time getting dressed up and enhancing their social skills.
"The kids are just so excited to learn their dancing and to dress up," she said.
"I just love it every year."
It was a moving evening for Ms Thomas who will transfer to another school at the end of the year.
"I will miss it," Ms Thomas said.
"I'd love it to continue and the other Prep teachers have given their support for it to continue as well."
One young student was overcome with emotion but Cr Pisasale comforted her and she responded with flying colours.
"She was nervous and I was reassuring her that everything was fine," he said.
"She was laughing in the end.
"I wanted to build her confidence because it can be nerve-wracking on a night like that.
"I wanted to reassure her that she looked beautiful."