Due to COVID-19, many graduation events have been cancelled but there will be a “backwards parade” to celebrate grads on Saturday, June 20, according to Nicole Weir, one of the organizers and a parent of one of this year’s graduates.
The parade will be at the South Cariboo Rec Centre starting at 2:30 p.m. with graduate students standing in the parking lot and the public having the opportunity to drive by and wave at them.
“What we’re asking is that the community participates in the parade aspect of it.”
They’re asking people to make signs, cheer for them, and shout words of encouragement and love, she says.
“Yeah, just really represent, like, be there for these grads and support them and love them as best as we can right now.”
Weir says other places have done it and that she and a couple of other parents decided to make it happen, noting that is wasn’t her idea.
Parents, RCMP Staff Sgt. Svend Nielsen and Canlan Ice Sports manager Josh Dickerson have been really helpful in making it happen, she says.
“It’s really been a huge team effort.”
Though there have been some mixed responses overall there’s been support from the grads, she says.
“Some of them have been really excited, others have been quite tentative and I think because it’s challenging times right now,” she says. “On the whole, they’re starting to get behind it and are starting to get excited to have something happening for them.”
It’s good to have an event where they can all be together even if it is with physical distancing, she says.
The graduates will wear prom attire or whatever they choose to wear.
“We’re kind of giving them a platform to wear their prom dresses should they have them already. The boys most likely would not have their tuxes because those are all rented usually. I told them, ‘if you want to wear your hockey outfit, do it. If you want to wear a clown outfit, go for it.’ Just show up and represent and have fun.”
People will need to stay in their vehicles, she says, adding they can slow down and take pictures but they can’t have people gathering.
“We’re doing this corona-style, so we’ve got some parameters to it.”