Williamsburg High School seniors in the class of 2020 have missed out on a lot of things, such as prom and a traditional graduation ceremony, but the city of Williamsburg, the school district and others are trying to do a little something to make their senior year a little more special.
A virtual honors night will be held at 6 p.m. on May 16 on the Williamsburg Independent School District’s Facebook page.
A virtual baccalaureate service will be held at 6 p.m. on May 17 on the First Baptist Church and Main Street Baptist Church Facebook pages.
The city is also helping to organize an actual parade on Wednesday, May 20, for the Williamsburg High School Class of 2020.
“I think it is going to be a pretty cool thing,” Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison said during Monday’s Williamsburg City Council meeting, which was held virtually via Zoom.
Williamsburg Independent School Director of Instruction Loren Connell, who is also on the city council, said that students are being encouraged to respectfully decorate their vehicles, and response from the community so far has been great.
“I am hopeful there will be a lot of seniors to participate,” Connell said.
Harrison recently sent a letter to all students informing them about the graduation parade.
“It is just a little something from your city and your school. I know it’s a weird time, but it’s one you’ll never forget as the Class of 2020. We are all very proud of you guys and hate the fact that you have missed much of your senior year, so we want to have a parade,” he wrote in the letter.
Vehicles in the parade will begin assembling in the parking lot of the Kentucky Splash Waterpark at 6 p.m. on May 20. The parade will depart at 6:15 p.m., and is expected to last about 15 minutes.
The parade will be led by a police escort. Organizers are asking that participants be limited to one graduate per vehicle, and to only have immediate family inside the vehicle or just themselves.
Family and friends, who want to video or take pictures are asked to find a good parking spot on the side of the road somewhere along the parade route, and take pictures and/or video out the windows of their vehicles. Those taking pictures or video are encouraged to keep social distancing, Harrison wrote in the letter.
Harrison said he is encouraging Williamsburg residents to line the parade route and honk their horns in support of the graduating seniors.
When the parade starts, it will exit the waterpark going right onto Kentucky 92W, and then turn right onto Main Street. Participants will then turn left on North 11th Street, and then right into the parking lot of Williamsburg Independent School. The parade will exit the parking lot turning right onto North 10th Street, and then left back onto Main Street.
At Fifth Street, participants will turn right, and then turn left onto Cumberland Avenue. From there the parade will turn left onto South Second Street in front of Croley Funeral Home, and then left at the traffic light onto Main Street.
It will continue all the way up Main Street going past the front entrance of the school to the end of Main Street before turning left on Kentucky 92W, and finally turning left back into the waterpark parking lot where the parade will end.
“Please remember, when the parade ends in the waterpark parking lot, you cannot get out of the car for any celebration. I’m sorry, once again. As an old Prince song says, it’s the ‘Sign of the Times.’ (I know you’re probably too young to remember it!)” Harrison wrote in the letter.
Participants are being asked not to stand up in sunroofs or to ride in the back of trucks during the parade.
Williamsburg’s graduation will be broadcast on May 24 at 1:30 p.m. on the Williamsburg Independent School’s Facebook page.
The parents of some Corbin High School seniors are planning a similar parade on Saturday, May 23, in Corbin.
The Corbin parade is slated to start at 2 p.m. from The Arena. The route will go up Cumberland Falls Highway, turning onto Snyder Street at the high school. After turning behind the high school, the parade will go out onto Ky. 26, north on Main Street, and on Master Street before ending at the Trademart Shopping Center.