Peoples Academy graduation 2020

Peoples Academy 2020 graduates participated in a parade around Morrisville, where well-wishers lined the streets and cheered, and parents and students filled the air with honking horns.

Last year’s Peoples Academy graduation ceremony was a largely closed-door affair, because of pandemic restrictions — as in, closed car doors, where graduates received their diplomas in a drive-up commencement.

This year’s ceremony, Thursday, June 10, will combine the vehicular elements of last year with the traditional pomp and circumstance of yesteryear.

According to Tarah Hubbard, the school’s administrative assistant, this is Peoples’ 173rd commencement, and it will feature the usual ceremonial trappings, such as the tassel turning and cap tossing. There will be speakers, including a surprise keynote speaker as well as speeches from the valedictorian and — count ‘em — four salutatorians.

“It was a big year for academics,” Hubbard said.

The ceremony, which starts at 6 p.m., will be slightly shorter than previous ones, to make room for a new tradition started last year during the pandemic: a car parade through the streets of Morrisville. Students will decorate their — or their parents’ — vehicles and be accompanied by fire trucks down Copley Hill, as they make a loop through downtown, with spectators lining the streets to send off the seniors in style.

According to Hubbard, the June 10 graduation festivities will be the culmination of a week of senior recognition and celebration. The class spent much of the day Wednesday at Oxbow Riverfront Park in a day full of games, food and other activities.

And after the car parade through town, seniors will make their way to The Essex Resort for a night full of fun organized by Project Graduation.

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