PHOTOS: 2021 Grads enjoy reverse grad parade in Centennial Park

The graduating class of 2021 from Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)The graduating class of 2021 from Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
The graduating class of 2021 from Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)The graduating class of 2021 from Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Emily Ried and her boyfriend Gabe Pasemko cuddle their two-and-a-half-month-old puppy Sadie. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Emily Ried and her boyfriend Gabe Pasemko cuddle their two-and-a-half-month-old puppy Sadie. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
PSO Grads and students enjoyed the parade in Centennial Park including Wrenn Yanno, right, Sarah Carter, Lizzie Haretzmuller and Ella Birtwistle. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)PSO Grads and students enjoyed the parade in Centennial Park including Wrenn Yanno, right, Sarah Carter, Lizzie Haretzmuller and Ella Birtwistle. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Lynden Walker and Brianne Laforge laugh after their families sprayed some confetti on them at the reverse grad parade. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Lynden Walker and Brianne Laforge laugh after their families sprayed some confetti on them at the reverse grad parade. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Grads lined both sides of the Centennial Park walkway to wave at passing cars. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Grads lined both sides of the Centennial Park walkway to wave at passing cars. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
A group of PSO graduates grab some pizza while waiting for the parade to begin. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)A group of PSO graduates grab some pizza while waiting for the parade to begin. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
From left, Dirk Schuurman, Ryan Chamberlain and Robert Waldner decided to bring a couch to watch the reverse grad parade. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)From left, Dirk Schuurman, Ryan Chamberlain and Robert Waldner decided to bring a couch to watch the reverse grad parade. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
From left, Dirk Schuurman, Ryan Chamberlain and Robert Waldner decided to bring a couch to watch the reverse grad parade. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)From left, Dirk Schuurman, Ryan Chamberlain and Robert Waldner decided to bring a couch to watch the reverse grad parade. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
People of all ages and their canine friends came by to wish the grads well in the future. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)People of all ages and their canine friends came by to wish the grads well in the future. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
PSO Graduates of 2021 lean back on a car at the reverse grad parade. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)PSO Graduates of 2021 lean back on a car at the reverse grad parade. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
A quartet of PSO graduates peers down the road at the oncoming grad parade in Centennial Park. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)A quartet of PSO graduates peers down the road at the oncoming grad parade in Centennial Park. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
A mother holds up her baby for the grads to see while driving in the reverse grad parade. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)A mother holds up her baby for the grads to see while driving in the reverse grad parade. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Parents take photos of their children while driving in the reverse grad parade at Centennial Park. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Parents take photos of their children while driving in the reverse grad parade at Centennial Park. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Antóin Murray grins as the parade passes by in Centennial Park. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Antóin Murray grins as the parade passes by in Centennial Park. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Rather than take a fire truck to the reverse grad parade, Nathan Hollander decided to buy his own pink big wheel. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Rather than take a fire truck to the reverse grad parade, Nathan Hollander decided to buy his own pink big wheel. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
PSO Grad Jaci Gilbert and her date Megan Balbirnie at the reverse grad parade. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)PSO Grad Jaci Gilbert and her date Megan Balbirnie at the reverse grad parade. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Hunter O’Conner leans back on his 1957 custom Chevy Rambler he’s in the process of restoring. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Hunter O’Conner leans back on his 1957 custom Chevy Rambler he’s in the process of restoring. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Homeschooler Johnathan McIntosh graduated from high school online this year and was happy to come to the reverse grad parade and celebrate. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Homeschooler Johnathan McIntosh graduated from high school online this year and was happy to come to the reverse grad parade and celebrate. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Grads smile and wave at passing cars in Centennial Park. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Grads smile and wave at passing cars in Centennial Park. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Camryn Ray and Colton Sanford smile as their picture is taken at the reverse grad parade. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Camryn Ray and Colton Sanford smile as their picture is taken at the reverse grad parade. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Conner Giroux laughs as Lyda Crossen and Dannaka LeBreton dance to the Cha-Cha Slide. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Conner Giroux laughs as Lyda Crossen and Dannaka LeBreton dance to the Cha-Cha Slide. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Conner Giroux laughs as Lyda Crossen and Dannaka LeBreton dance to the Cha-Cha Slide. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Conner Giroux laughs as Lyda Crossen and Dannaka LeBreton dance to the Cha-Cha Slide. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Camryn Ray and Colton Sanford laugh as a group of moms wish them well at the 2021 Reverse Grad parade. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Camryn Ray and Colton Sanford laugh as a group of moms wish them well at the 2021 Reverse Grad parade. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
A PSO Grad couple hitches a ride on a trailer near the end of the parade. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)A PSO Grad couple hitches a ride on a trailer near the end of the parade. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Emily Ried and her boyfriend Gabe Pasemko cuddle with their two-and-a-half-month-old puppy Sadie. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Emily Ried and her boyfriend Gabe Pasemko cuddle with their two-and-a-half-month-old puppy Sadie. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Logan Hendry kicks back after the reverse grad parade in Centennial Park. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Logan Hendry kicks back after the reverse grad parade in Centennial Park. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

The sun may not have shone on Peter Shene Ogden’s Secondary School’s 2021 grad parade but spirits were still bright.

For an hour and a half in Centennial Park on Saturday, June 19, 75 grads showed off prom dresses, suits and cars as dozens of parents and community members passed by and congratulated them. Pizza was as plentiful as smiles as classic ‘80s songs played from the stage, getting some grads up to dance.

Parents honked their horns, craned out of windows to take pictures and tossed flowers and gifts at their children, proud of all their achievements over this last year.

While it’s not their usual parade and dinner and dance, the grads were happy that something had been able to be pulled together.

Lizzie Haretzmuller has been going to PSO since Grade 8 and has lived in 100 Mile House her whole life. Graduating this year feels pretty weird, she said.

“It doesn’t really feel like a real graduation considering COVID and everything, but it also feels kind of weird to move on,” Haretzmuller said.

The parade turned out a lot better than she was expecting with decorations and lots of people passing by. Having a celebration like this during these times is really nice, Haretzmuller said. She’d like to thank everyone who came out to give her and her friends a good high school send-off.

Colton Sanford and his girlfriend Camryn Ray had a great time at the parade receiving gifts from family and friends as they passed by. The last year has been a stressful one, Sanford said.

“I don’t know how I graduated,” Sanford remarked with a grin.

Both of them said they’re nervous about life after high school and aren’t quite sure what they will do next. Ray said that beyond the cloudy weather and spots of rain, the parade was perfect and she really liked how it turned out.

“I’d like to thank everyone for coming, the volunteers for volunteering and the donations (of food and prizes),” Ray said.

The head of the grad committee Marsha Ried, said the day was amazing. The grads all seemed happy and she had nothing to offer but her congratulations.

“The weather’s held off, the kids are having fun, it almost feels like normal,” Ried said. “It makes it feel like COVID is in the background instead of taking over.”

Ried’s daughter Emily and her date Gabe Pasemko were also happy the grad parade had gone ahead. Pasemko thought it was great to be at this “beautiful park with our beautiful car.”

“It was really stressful to get here but I’m so happy to get together. I feel happy the girls all got to get dressed up and that we’re all done school,” Emily said.

When asked what their future plans were the two simply said to “take a break and chill out.”



patrick.davies@100milefreepress.net

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