Wahpeton High School’s class of 2020 were honored in a Friday, May 22 parade down Dakota Avenue.
Seventy-four seniors are expected to graduate over Memorial Day weekend. While the COVID-19 pandemic led to changes in learning and graduation events, it appears to have had no effect on community spirit.
Supporters were asked to follow social distancing guidelines as they stood on the south side of Dakota Avenue. As they passed, the youth waved to and greeted the proud audience. While some seniors drove their own vehicles, others were escorted by family members.
Parade participants were escorted by the Wahpeton Fire Department and Wahpeton Police Department.
Wahpeton High School is scheduled to hold graduation at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 23 on the football field of Chahinkapa Park, Wahpeton. In the event of inclement weather, it will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 24 or 1 p.m. Monday, May 25.
“All attendees will be required to wear a mask at all times,” Wahpeton Public Schools previously stated. “Graduates, administration and school board members will only wear masks if they choose to.”
The ceremony will be livestreamed and recorded for family members not able to attend.
Wahpeton Public Schools is following additional guidelines based on North Dakota Smart Restart recommendations.
“We will implement one-way foot traffic for people entering and leaving to implement social distancing,” High School Principal Ned Clooten said previously. “We will be providing portable restrooms and hand washing stations to prevent congestion in bathrooms.”
Members of vulnerable population groups, including people over age 65, anyone with serious underlying health conditions, or those with weakened immune systems, are asked not to attend graduation.
During the ceremony, precautions will be taken for youth safety.
“Graduates will walk across the stage and collect their diploma from a table rather than have it landed to them,” Clooten said. “Hand sanitizer will be used at both ends of the stage, for entering and leaving.”
Look to Daily News, in print and online, for coverage of Twin Towns Area graduations.