Pomp, parade and a parking lot: Class of ‘20 commencement to be anything but typical

By Per Peterson

Commencement exercises at Tracy Area High School will take place on the original date of May 24, but it will be anything but traditional.

While the event cannot be held in the gym as it usually is because of COVID-19-related restrictions, the school remains steadfast in its commitment to hold commencement exercises in May and to make the day as meaningful as possible for this year’s seniors and their families.

“Everybody really worked hard to try and incorporate as many ideas as we can to make it meaningful, knowing that it’s not going to be a typical graduation,” TAHS Supt. Chad Anderson said. “In a typical graduation, the kids walk in together — that’s where the parade came from.”

The day will begin with a parade starting at 1 p.m. at The Caboose and will meander its way downtown where Jeremy Trulock will announce each senior, their honors and future plans over a sound system as they drive by.

The parade will conclude at the high school parking lot. Each family will be allowed one car (two by special request), and cars will park in a “V” shape facing the baseball field. The “stage” will be on the grass in front of the home baseball dugout.

The Tracy Fire Department and Tracy Police Department will help with parade and parking and will only allow families with a pass to drive into the lot. “Pomp and Circumstance” will be played as vehicles enter the parking lot.

The ceremony will include Principal Kathy Vondracek reading each name over the FFA sound system; speakers will be pre-recorded and played on loud speakers and on KARL105. There will be a recorded solo singer as well.

When the ceremony is over, the “Minnesota Rouser” will be played, and each vehicle will leave one at a time. TAPS will purchase a photo for every senior, taken by Greg Devereaux.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.