More details and times have been released on the Parker High School graduation parade, which will be held Thursday, May 21. The Parker Alternative School, which is commonly known as Ombudsman, will be participating in the parade as well.
Staging will begin at 5 p.m. at the football field, Joe Bush Stadium, on 18th Street. No one except for graduates’ vehicles that will be in the parade and school staff will be permitted in the staging area.
The gates will be closed at 5:45 p.m. Any student not staged by this time will not be allowed to participate in the parade. The parade will start at 6 p.m. and proceed out the main gate of the football field.
The parade route will move in a counter-clockwise rotation back to the football field. The parade will make a right turn onto 18th Street and head towards Joshua Avenue. The parade will turn left on Joshua and head to Agency Road. At Agency Road, the parade will turn left and head to Ocotillo Avenue. The parade will make a left turn onto Ocotillo Avenue and proceed to the main gate of the football field.
Once inside the football field, all vehicles will proceed to the south end of the field via a marked route.
The vehicles will drive on the track. Jeff Wheatley, the Assistant Principal, will announce the graduates’ names. They will receive their diplomas from the Principal, David Daly, as they remain in their vehicles. Once they receive their diplomas, graduates may exit the athletic field.
The Parker Police Department will be providing traffic control during the parade.
Graduates are asked to wear their caps and gowns during the parade. Vehicles may be decorated, as long as it is school appropriate. Any vehicle deemed inappropriate will not be allowed in the parade.
There will be one graduate per vehicle. Graduates must stay inside the vehicle at all times during the parade. They are not permitted to ride in the beds of trucks. They must also have an adult driver. No graduate may drive themselves. A statement from the school said this is for the graduates’ safety due to the dangers of distracted driver.
All vehicles are expected to keep pace with the vehicle ahead of them. There will be no stopping during the parade.
Arizona schools have been closed since late March due to the coronavirus pandemic. With rules regarding social distancing, the Parker Unified School District determined they could not hold a traditional graduation ceremony. The idea of a parade was pitched to the senior class officers, and they accepted it.