Class Of 2020 Rolls Through Town In Celebratory Parade
Newtown High School Class of 2020 graduates waved from cars that drove through town on July 8 for a senior car parade, held as part of this year’s graduation ceremonies.
The car parade began at NHS just before 10 am, with cars lining up to follow a police car and an All-Star Transportation bus onto Berkshire Road, up Wasserman Way and then up Main Street. The parade was held in three waves, with cars lining up again at NHS at 10:30 am and 11 am to follow the route. The cars dispersed at the flag pole.
NHS administrators and staff were on hand to help drivers line up their cars. They also handed out flags to hook onto cars that read, “Newtown High School Class of 2020.”
After returning to NHS following the first wave of the car parade, Principal Dr Kimberly Longobucco said she spotted the entire high school math department outside Reed Intermediate School, cheering for the graduates. She and Newtown Police Department Security Resource Officer Richard Monckton both said they observed others along the route, as well. Officer Monckton said he saw town employees in one location.
As previously reported in The Newtown Bee, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the typical graduation ceremony at Western Connecticut State University’s O’Neill Center in Danbury was replaced with seniors graduating over the course of multiple days in mid-June, to allow for spacing and safety, on a stage set up at NHS. The senior car parade was originally scheduled for June 15, and it was rescheduled after the governor announced allowance of graduation activities after July 6. At the time, Dr Longobucco said the car parade was rescheduled to allow people to gather more safely along the parade route as “we truly want this to be a town event that people can come outside and enjoy.”
Near the end of the parade route, Board of Education member John Vouros, who is also the innkeeper at the Dana Holcombe House on Main Street, was outside with a group of others celebrating the graduates. He noted the event was “filled with happiness,” “lots of honking,” and “lots of waving.” He spotted many decorated cars, people gathered along the street, and “smiles everywhere.” Even large trucks and cars traveling south on Main Street responded to the car parade by honking and waving at the graduates, he said.
And as the cars full of graduates, their families, friends, and sometimes, pets, drove through town, the “Class of 2020” flags rippled in the wind.