Vintage cars carrying Nelson’s newest graduates, undeterred by the pandemic, will once again roll through the city.
The L.V. Rogers annual cavalcade will parade Grade 12 students around town at 4 p.m. on June 13.
The high school had been forced to scrap its in-person graduation ceremonies due to COVID-19 crowd restrictions. But on Wednesday, organizers were given the green light by School District 8 and the City of Nelson to move forward with the cavalcade.
Tricia Pujos-Michel, co-chair of the LVR grad committee, had one daughter graduate in 2018, and another who will grad this year. She’s thrilled the Class of 2020 will have an event to call their own.
“I think the grads are going to be super excited because they were literally devastated,” she said. “Like I say, grad is huge. And these kids have been coming out and watching grad since they could remember. I’m sure they’ve been watching cavalcade since they’re one, two, going, ‘my day’s coming.'”
Pujos-Michel said details of the route are still being worked out, but it would be longer than in years past when the event has been confined to Baker Street. The class will be split up prior to the event at LVR and Selkirk College to stay within the accepted crowd restrictions before merging into one long party parade.
The committee, she said, were inspired to keep the cavalcade alive when impromptu parades celebrating front-line workers were held in March and April.
“We were kind of like, well, why can’t we do sort of the same sort of thing for cavalcade? But it’s turned into something way bigger and better.”
The event typically draws big crowds downtown. This year, Pujos-Michel said spectators will be asked to stay two metres apart while grads will be limited to two per vehicle.
LVR principal Tamara Malloff said the class of 172 students will also have a virtual grad ceremony with a slide show, speeches and scholarship announcements packaged together into a video. Grads will also collect their diplomas and caps over a two-day event.
“They were so disappointed. They feel like they are losing out on a learning experience, and now grad,” said Malloff.
“So to be able to say that cavalcade has been approved is at least providing some sense of hope and celebration and it feels really, really good to be able to say that to them because it’s something.”
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