With their last year of high school cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, graduates across the country are missing out on prom season, senior photos, senior trips and other important events that have become school traditions. For graduates of Tarkington High School, a new tradition was started – a senior parade.
On Saturday, dozens of Tarkington High School seniors – many accompanied by their parent drivers – lined up in their decorated vehicles at Rural Shade Baptist Church on CR 2274 for a parade through the back roads of Tarkington. Along the route to Tarkington High School, they were cheered on by well-wishers standing at the end of their driveways or in parking lots.
Rev. Brad Dancer, pastor of Rural Shade Baptist Church, was among the organizers of the event. He believes it was important for the graduates to be celebrated.
“They have had a real tough time of it. They’ve lost a lot of their senior year because of the pandemic. They missed a lot of important parts of being a senior. They did get the ultimate senior skip day though, so they can’t complain about that,” he said jokingly.
The real world that follows high school is already beginning for some of the graduates, he added.
“A lot of these seniors have already gone to work, which is good for them. I know some are supporting their parents right now because their parents have been laid off. They are trying to help their parents with bills,” Dancer said.
Pct. 5 Constable David Hunter, who escorted the parade and organized road blocks along the route, said he wants the graduates to know the community is proud of them and is rooting for their success.
“Bless their hearts. They have spent 12 or 13 years with each other, most of them, and they got to this point where they were looking forward to graduation and then the pandemic came. We just want to show them how proud we are of them,” he said.
As the senior class parade ended at the high school, a group of future high school graduates geared up for their own parade. The Class of 2032 – this year’s kindergarten graduates at Tarkington Primary – were featured in a short parade around the high school with their family, friends and community supporters cheering them on.
Photos from the two parades are below:
The quicker they get Covid-19, and survive it, the quicker they can get on with their lives. Gathering in large groups is an excellent way to get it.
If they take it home to their parents, and grandparents, they could get their inheritance early.