Celebrating high school graduates has a different look these days.
Official commencement exercises have been canceled statewide and nationally due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Yet, communities rally together and find creative ways to recognize the class of 2020 for its milestone achievement.
Last Tuesday evening was a perfect example.
Southern Wayne’s seniors drove their cars and trucks through the streets of Mount Olive, and were regaled by family, friends, teachers and neighbors. A few heads popped through sun roofs, some rode the tailgates of trucks and others leaned outside their windows.
Nearly every vehicle had some type of decoration or writing.
“Senioritis is greater than Coronavirus.”
“I did it!”
The Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce and the town of Mount Olive partnered together to host the parade that brought the community out to show its support.
Loud cheers and the ringing of cow bells filled the air.
“This parade is just another example of a caring community that wants to show their love and support for the seniors of Southern Wayne High School,” said SW Principal Kevin Smith, who graciously thanked the organizers of the event.
“It was a really special opportunity to walk through the lineup of cars and see the students again. They were energetic and excited. That type of energy is infectious and reminds us of why we chose this profession.”
Mount Olive Mayor Ken Talton described the event as “awesome.”
“[Two entities] saw an opportunity to make lemonade out of lemons for these special youth in our community,” he said. “I spoke to a dozen students and their parents who were so appreciative of all who made the parade a success. What a great afternoon and what a great crowd we had to support this endeavor.”