Williams Lake Dry Grad chairs Darlene Lainchbury and Lee Ann Lainchbury were all smiles Tuesday, June 2, after city council approved their proposal for a 2020 reverse graduation parade, to take place Saturday, June 20. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Reverse graduation parade gets green light from Williams Lake city council

Proposal needs RCMP approval and meet public health office requirements

A proposal for a reverse dry grad parade was approved by Williams Lake city council during its regular meeting Tuesday, June 2.

The idea will now have to be approved by the RCMP and meet the requirements of the public health office.

Williams Lake Dry Grad 2020 chairs Darlene Lainchbury and her daughter Lee-Ann Lainchbury brought the idea to council for consideration.

The plan would see all 265 graduates from various schools in Williams Lake invited to line up along the sidewalk on Western Avenue, Saturday, June 20 at 6 p.m.

As they arrive, each student will be placed eight to ten feet apart.

Beginning at 7 p.m., vehicles would drive past the students honking and cheering with balloons and decorations, lifting their spirits and maybe spreading some cheer around the community, Darlene explained in a report to council.

“We kind of took the idea from the travelling birthday parties that have been happening in town,” Lee-Ann said after council unanimously endorsed the idea.

“I’ve been on a few of those and they are fun and we started thinking maybe we could reverse the grad parade. We understand the normal grad parade cannot work because of how many spectators its draws as the community really supports it, which is part of the fun.”

With COVID-19 precautions in mind, the route that has been paced out will begin from Blair Street south all the way to Smedley Street.

“This will give us more than enough room for the grads to spread out,” Darlene noted.

Read more: LCSS grad commencement will now be held in school commons area

Coun. Sheila Boehm said she was happy to see the reverse parade will be happening.

“I think most of us enjoy the parade so much and having had a grad last year, I cannot imagine what everyone is going through this year,” Boehm told the Lainchburys. “I’m happy to see the online auction and super excited we will get see the parade.”

Coun. Marnie Brenner thanked the grad committee and said this year is especially difficult due to the pandemic.

“Kudos to you guys and the grad committee and the work you’ve done to think outside the box to be able to do something for the grads. It’s really appreciated,” Brenner said.

City council also voted in favour of spending up to $500 from its contingency fund to sponsor a banner in recognition of the graduating class of 2020.

Read more: Graduates invited to participate in free, mini photo shoots May 27-28



news@wltribune.com

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