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Graduation convoy to replace traditional prom in Squamish

Organizer emphasizes everyone must know and abide by health rules that are in place.
Charles Gullung Getty Images
Grads can dress up for the 2021 Squamish graduation parade.

While it's unclear if Squamish grads will be able to have a traditional prom this year, the Prom Parent Committee is organizing a promising alternative.

Brenda Chelswick, chair of the committee, said that if public health restrictions continue to bar indoor events in June, organizers are putting together a graduation convoy.

Chelswick said just in case event restrictions loosen, the committee still has reservations for four school gyms, with the idea that each one would host 50 people.

"We've kept the booking of those four gyms just in case we can pull something out of our hat at the very last minute, but [it seems] the public health officer is not very confident we're going to have very much change with regards to the restrictions, so the prom parade is going to be it," she said.

As a result, there is a plan in motion to host a graduation convoy in place of a traditional prom.

The idea will be to have grads dressed to the nines and ride in a procession of cars around town in a parade-style event.

It will occur on June 12 and will replace the actual prom. Students are expected to arrive at Howe Sound Secondary between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. If there are more than 50 cars arriveto Howe Sound, overflow vehicles will be directed to the parking lot at École Les Aiglons.

When all are ready, the procession will start at 3:30 p.m., weave its way through town and finish off at Don Ross.

Chelswick said the event will not technically be a parade, as there will be no road closures and the convoy will still be expected to follow all the rules of the road. People won't be allowed to rent big floats either.

Furthermore, she emphasized people are expected to know and observe all COVID-19 rules in place. For example, even audience members who wish to watch the convoy should not clump together, but should instead stay distanced and wear masks.

Students are expected to ride in maximum groups of three per car with members of their school cohorts and mask up.

As this is a school board-sanctioned event, only parents and guardians will be allowed to drive.

RCMP will be leading the procession, and the Squamish Nation will be bringing a ceremonial canoe. Squamish Fire Rescue is also expected to participate as well.

Goodie bags will be given out to students, care of local businesses and various donors.

There will also be an opportunity for financial help.

Grads who need a hand finding the perfect clothes, hairstyle or makeup can ask for assistance at hss2021parents@gmail.com.Local businesses and donors who are interested in participating are also encouraged to reach out to that email address as well.

Furthermore, anyone looking to suggest songs for the grad playlist can send an email as well.