Celebrating seniors: Cap and Gown Parade rides through town
The Wareham High School Class of 2020 has had to postpone their graduation ceremony to August, but on June 3, a parade of around 100 high school seniors and their family members celebrated with honking horns, balloons, signs, and cheering spectators.
Graduating seniors and their family members filled the parking lot on Merchant’s Way before the start of the parade, many of them with signs and decorations on their cars to celebrate the occasion.
At the same time, other friends and family members waited along Main Street to cheer on the graduates participating in the parade.
Senior Class President Jasmine Black carried a blue and white flag that read “SENIORS 20” as she rode along in the parade, standing out through a sunroof. Before taking off from Merchant’s Way, she said that she was very happy with the parade’s turnout, as nearly every graduating senior participated.
Natalia Moulding was joined by her parents Chris and Katie for the parade, who showed no shortage of enthusiasm. Her mother wore a Viking Helmet, and her father dyed his hair in Wareham High School blue.
Kristina Keaton was driven by her older sister Autumn, who graduated just last year. Autumn said that while it was nice for her younger sister’s class to have the parade, she wished that they could have had a traditional graduation ceremony as well.
In addition to celebrating the class of 2020, senior Bryce Fernandes chose to share an important cause as well, by writing “Black Lives Matter” on his driver’s side window.
He said he did this because “with everything that is going on, I thought it was an important message to share.”
While Bryce waited for the parade to start on Merchant’s Way, several of his family members gathered on Main Street to congratulate his accomplishments.
His grandmother Marcine Fernandes waited for him at the bench near the Fire Station, with a handful of white, blue, and yellow balloons.
After the Parade, Marcine Fernandes said that many of the seniors who participated said they enjoyed the event, and that it would be interesting to see if the tradition is continued next year.
Kristen Kelley, a fifth grade teacher, stood at the corner of Rte. 6 and Viking Dr. to cheer on graduates. She said that the students in her first class are now graduating, and she was thrilled to see her former students celebrating graduation.
“I’ve been waiting and waiting to go to graduation, but this was awesome,” Kelley said.
Rick Cleveland, a custodian at Wareham Schools, called out congratulations to students as they drove past on Viking Dr.
“I’m so happy they did this,” he said, adding that he wasn’t sure he was going to see the students again this year. His wife, Lee Cleveland, was also there to support the graduates, and said that Rick had probably given out more diplomas to students than some faculty members -- a testament to his connection with the students.
“It’s been a long time since we all were together,” said Colonel Matt Stanton, a teacher at the high school. “It’s fun to see all the students and their reactions.”
An in-person graduation ceremony is scheduled for August 7.