Vanderhoof graduates will not have a grand march this year due to the virus pandemic, but local volunteers are finding ways to celebrate the Class of 2020. (File photo)

Class of 2020 to tour Vanderhoof’s downtown core in a “reverse parade”

Organizers are requesting businesses to make the day special for graduates this year as COVID-19 disrupted their celebration this year.

There will no Grand March for Vanderhoof’s class of 2020. However, some volunteers in the community have been working towards finding a way to celebrate the local graduates.

This year the “reverse parade” will occur on Friday, June 12 and the school ceremony where students will be awarded diplomas will be held on Saturday, June 13.

Heather Floris, a resident and head nurse at Vanderhoof’s St. John Hospital and Chona Dick have been working on a plan to celebrate graduates in a safe way, and are requesting collaboration from businesses.

READ MORE: Pain, love and hope: Vanderhoof grad writes poem dedicated to the Class of 2020

Floris said they are organizing to have graduates tour the downtown core between 6 and 8 p.m. on June 12.

“We will be trying to get some type of food or snacks from different businesses in town for them to go and get if they want,” she explained.

For parking, Floris said graduates can park along Burrard or in the downtown core and have to socially distance themselves. They can distance by “either sitting on the back of their trucks or in their cars to spend some time together.”

Meanwhile, businesses can participate by putting ‘congratulations’ or some other decor for graduates “to help them celebrate a very different looking graduation this year,” Floris said.

And if businesses want to personally give the students something for their special day, they are more than welcome to have that available for when the graduates are down there, she added.

“We are hoping the community will help the grads celebrate this huge accomplishment in this very unique way this year. Drive by and honk or wave at the grads while they are downtown and show you are thinking of them and showing them that the community cares about them,” Floris said.

In terms of the school ceremony which is occuring on June 13, graduates are being put into slots of 15 at a time. Each graduate is allowed to bring two people with them. The idea is to keep the head count under 50. The ceremony will be live steamed as well.

Aman Parhar
Editor, Vanderhoof Omineca Express

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