Waynesboro High School is taking the celebration of the Class of 2020 to the streets Saturday morning.
From 10 to 10:45 a.m. Class of 2020 graduates will stand according to social distancing standards along Main Street from Maple Avenue to Stella, Bella and Lucy’s at 327 W. Main Street while family, friends and community members drive through downtown Waynesboro.
“Plenty of time for our graduates to be out there in their caps and gowns, and feel celebrated from our community,” said Waynesboro High Principal Bryan Stamm.
Saturday’s parade is just the start of Waynesboro’s “Senior Celebration.” Graduates will receive their diplomas in one-on-one ceremonies at the high school on Monday and Tuesday.
Stamm said the idea for the parade actually came from the community, made its way to his staff at the high school and to him.
“’Yeah, we can do this,’” Stamm said was the collective response. “We thought it was a good idea just the way it’s set up. We’re close to downtown.”
A collaboration between Waynesboro High staff, Waynesboro Schools administration, city government, local businesses and Waynesboro Police Department was necessary to make the parade a reality.
Stamm said that Main Street will not be blocked off as it would normally be for a parade such as the annual Christmas Parade downtown.
“Main Street is going to be wide open both ways,” Stamm said.
He said he heard that downtown businesses are excited to be right where the parade will come through.
“Where can we make our seniors most visible?” Stamm said was the question asked when the COVID-19 pandemic prohibited a traditional graduation ceremony in the football field with 1,000 audience members.
Saturday’s parade, Stamm said, still tells graduates, “We’re proud of you, and we want to send you off in Waynesboro fashion.”
Signs on vehicles, honking and noise congratulating graduates are all welcome in downtown Saturday morning.
According to Stamm, he was not in a hurry to hold virtual graduation, and waited until mid-June when the hope was that Virginia would be in a phase that would permit more to gather for celebration.
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