UTAH COUNTY

Payson High students pushing to get Kevin Bacon to prom

May 26, 2023, 3:33 PM | Updated: Jun 27, 2023, 8:15 am

Students at Payson High School are kicking off a massive year-long campaign to get "Footloose" star...

Payson High School in Payson is pictured on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. Students are putting in a lot of effort to bring Kevin Bacon to their prom in 2024 (Annie Barker, Deseret News)

(Annie Barker, Deseret News)

PAYSON, Utah — Students at Payson High School are kicking off a massive year-long campaign to get “Footloose” star Kevin Bacon to attend their prom next year. 

Much of “Footloose” was filmed at Payson High School. And it may just be the perfect year for Bacon to say yes — next year will mark the film’s 40th anniversary. Additionally, Payson High School is set to be torn down and rebuilt.

“We wanted to take the chance to not only celebrate the high school as a way to give the school a big send-off, (but) celebrate “Footloose” all at the same time,” the school’s Student Council Advisor Jenny Staheli told KSL NewsRadio.

“There is a time to dance”

While prom 2024 is still almost a full year away, it appears they’re already only one degree away from the “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” actor. The Utah Film Commission has put them in touch with his manager and Staheli said they’ve already written a letter. 

“[We can make this a success] especially if we can get people from all over the state interested in this,” Staheli said. 

And it’s not like Mr. Bacon doesn’t remember the school or the town. In 2009 he made a video to remind people at Payson about one of the movie’s themes — not being afraid to be yourself.

The efforts appear to be well organized. There’s a hashtag, Bacon to Payson. There’s also a website called bacontopayson.com. And FamilySearch.org has set up a widget that can tell people if they’re connected to the actor.

Students are planning a ton of events for the summer and next school year to raise money. They want to pay Kevin Bacon to attend prom, or, if he graciously decides to donate his time, they want to donate to his charity Sixdegrees.

Let’s dance!

“We’re gonna make it Footloose year at Payson High.” 

Some of those events include appearing at community festivals and parades and selling merchandise. They’re planning a social media campaign, and a “Footloose” movie night at their new football field. Also in the works?  A Mr. Bacon (instead of Mr. Payson) pageant/talent show, a performance of “Footloose” by the drama club, week-long themes centered around the movie, scavenger hunts, and a big end-of-year carnival.    

“No matter what happens, we are going to have so much fun trying to pull this off,” Staheli said.

The community of Payson is still very much invested in the movie.

“People in the community are so proud of this thing,” she said.  Some of them were extras in the movie or remember when it was being filmed.  

She hopes everyone, not just students at Payson High, will get involved in the effort to bring home the bacon — or get involved in the effort to bring “Footloose” star Kevin Bacon to Payson High in 2024.

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Utah County

(Spenser Heaps/Deseret News)...

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Payson High students pushing to get Kevin Bacon to prom