Cars festooned with blue-and-white balloons, streamers, college signs and other decorations paraded through the streets around Longmont High on Sunday, giving seniors an extra opportunity to celebrate together.
Longmont High, along with most of the area’s high schools, continued the senior car parade tradition that started last spring during the coronavirus pandemic.
Last school year, high school graduations were pushed to the summer after the pandemic shut down in-person classes, sports, performances, prom and other milestone events. To give seniors closure and a safe way to come together, parents began organizing car parades.
This year, St. Vrain Valley high schools made it a weekend of senior celebrations.
Schools held proms Saturday, though the potential for thunderstorms prompted the decision to move the dances inside instead of having them outside on school grounds as originally planned. Friday, schools also organized senior barbecues, yearbook-signing sessions and other events.
While car parades for most of the district’s high schools took place over the weekend, a parade for seniors at Longmont’s Skyline High is set for 5 p.m. Tuesday.
The Longmont High Booster Club and Education Foundation organized Sunday’s Longmont High parade.
“We thought it would be a one-time deal last year, but we decided to do it again,” said Booster Club President Tami Novara, who also has a senior at the school.
Senior Kelsey O’Brien said it felt like this year’s senior class missed most of their senior year. Classes were mainly online, with students only returning four days a week in person after spring break. But some seniors chose to stay remote, while others had to quarantine, separating the class.
“I’m so glad they did this,” O’Brien said as she added streamers to to the back of a yellow 1967 Mustang before the parade. “It’s so much fun.”
Senior Annika Olson said it didn’t start to feel real that high school is ending until she turned in her district iPad last week.
“It’s still sort of surreal,” she said.
Friend Zoey Shutes added that senior car parades may be the one good addition that came out of the pandemic.
“I like that we got to keep this new tradition alive,” she said.
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