Grad parades being held in various local communities
June 18, 2020, 2:41 pm
Kara Kinna and Rob Paul
A number of communities around the area are holding parades for their graduates, since the grads haven’t been able to have ceremonies this year.
The parades are taking different forms depending on the community.
Moosomin is planning a “grand march” for Saturday, June 20 at 4 pm and is planning to put the grads on flat deck trailers in their formal dress and parade them around town. Anyone can come out along the route and clap and cheer and congratulate them.
“It is like a parade, but we didn’t want to call it that so we are calling it the grand march,” says organizer Kendra Lawrence. “We have the first responders all involved—the ambulance, fire, RCMP are leading it, and Davidson Truck and Tractor is in it to provide some extra noise like they were doing for birthdays and anniversaries during the complete lockdown. We are utilizing trucks and flat deck trailers to place the grad and their escort on the trailer, then have that social distancing between the two and then the next two, and we have a designated route that we are going to drive around and showcase our grads.
“Family members and friends will be able to find areas to watch from the sidelines as the grads go by, probably on sites that they’ve prearranged. You’re going to see people along the route and then that way it gives the opportunity for everybody to see the kids.
“This is an opportunity for the community to see these kids where some of them don’t even get that opportunity for a regular grad ceremony. This way the community that helped raise them gets to see them.”
Five groups of parents have organized the grand march for Moosomin—Troy and Linda Smith, Garry and Kendra Lawrence, Keith and Leona Margetts, Greg and Cathy Sweet, and Neale and Deb Driver.
“We’ve had lots of positive response back from the kids that they are happy to see something happening where people are getting the chance to see them,” says Lawrence. “With the virtual grad it was really just our family and friends and then they didn’t even get a chance to see each other in that, so they are quite happy and excited to be able to see each other in their formal wear and showcase it for everybody.”
The Rocanville School graduation parade will be taking place June 26 at 7 p.m. through the town. It’s hosted by the parents of the graduating class and anybody who wishes to celebrate is welcome to put signs in their windows and cheer the grads as they go by.
“They’ll be going up and down every street they can while practicing physical distancing,” said grad advisor Karen Crawford. “The girls and boys will be all dressed up and it’ll start at the rink and it goes from there.
“Some of the grads will be in golf carts and some will use their own vehicles. They’re deciding themselves who wants to be in what.”
At the end of May when the Rocanville School grad committee was looking at different ideas for this years graduation, they knew a parade would work well.
“The teachers did a parade at the end of February and it was well received,” she said. “Some of the community was hoping some of the grads would be in the parade, but they were working at the time or not available. So then when planning the alternate grad they decided they would throw a parade.”
“The community wanted to do something and the kids are excited about it. This is something we all knew we could do and the amount of people that can be together outside has gone up. But it all started with the good response from the teachers doing there’s (a parade for the kids) and when we mentioned it to the kids they were excited. The community is excited too.”
The village of Maryfield is also planning a parade on June 20 at 4:15 pm. Organized by the village office, this parade won’t have the grads in it, but will be for the grads in their honor.
“The grads are getting their photos taken at the Century Gardens,” says village councillor Randy O’Greysik. “So they’ll be at the Century Gardens at 4:15 in the afternoon on June 20, and if anyone is interested in parading past the Century Gardens in their honor, we’re going to meet at the rink at about 3:45, and then we’ll stage up the parade from there.
“We’ll have the fire department, hopefully the RCMP, and you can use whichever means of travel that you have to be in the parade. So you can walk, bike, drive.
“We’ll honor our grads. That was going to be their actual grad day from what I understand, and so that is something that we can do for them.”
O’Greysik says anyone can join the parade to congratulate the grads.
“We’re trying to advertise it in the Village of Maryfield, RM of Maryfield, RM of Walpole, because we have one grad who lives in Fairlight, so we’ve been trying to advertise it through all three areas. There’s three of the grads from the RM and one from Fairlight and the rest are from town.
“I just hope it brings some smiles to their faces. My niece is one of the grads and she has just been heartbroken since everything had started because everything was so uncertain about grad and she wants to go onto university in the fall and she didn’t know if she would be getting all the courses that she needed. So it’s been really up in the air for her and it’s been a bit of a hit close to home for us and we’re trying to do whatever we can and help out and make it a little bit better for her.”
A parade for the Esterhazy High School graduates will take place on Saturday, June 27 at 2 pm. This will follow the online “Honouring of the Grads” organized by the high school the previous evening.
The grad parade, organized by parents with permission from the Town of Esterhazy and the local RCMP, will start at the SN Boreen Centre parking lot. The route goes by most of the local care homes as well as some open locations to allow for families to gather in small groups out in the open as well.
Grads will either be driving the route in their own vehicle or on a trailer following distancing restrictions. One of the parent organizers, Sherry-Lee Duncan, has asked families to put signage on vehicles and trailers to identify graduates and the parents of graduates.
The parade will end in the park behind the Esterhazy Historical Museum, where 34 of the 43 participating grads will distance themselves for a group photo taken by a drone.
A grad parade is also planned for the town of Redvers for the evening of Friday, June 26. The group organizing the parade is planning to go down every street in Redvers with the hope of keeping everyone in their own yards that way.