There may be very little that’s traditional about this year’s Challis High School graduation but precautions being taken because of the coronavirus make it likely to be one of the most memorable celebrations in the community.
After much discussion among school officials and with the 20 members of the class of 2020, the choice was made to conduct a parade for the graduates, senior class advisor Ang Sugden said.
The parade begins at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 17, at the intersection of Second and Main streets. It will end at the Custer County Courthouse.
Students will parade down the street in whatever fashion they choose, Sugden said. Some have said they plan to drive tractors, at least one hopes he rides in a golf cart, some may walk, others might ride ATVs or motorcycles or bicycles. Students are encouraged to decorate their rides and their caps. In between each senior, a classic car driven by a member of the Challis Classy Chassis car club will drive, adding to the parade flavor.
Parade entries will stay 6 feet apart, Sugden said, to observe proper physical distancing guidelines. Spectators are asked to do the same. She suggests people park their cars along Main and stay inside or next to their autos to watch the parade. People can listen to the parade on KSRA radio. It will be broadcast live from a booth set up in front of the courthouse, manned by CHS teachers Jennifer Piva and Debbie Sheppeard. The two women will share tidbits about each graduate as he or she parades down the street.
Speakers, including valedictorian Tessa Gregory, commencement speaker Tom Coates and the yet-to-be-determined salutatorians, will speak briefly and those speeches will be interspersed via the radio as the parade progresses. Scholarship recipients will also be announced.
The parade is expected to be led by a color guard and the Viking team bus, both of which will stop in front of the courthouse for the National Anthem. Each senior will pause at the courthouse before exiting the parade.
Volunteers are making sandwich boards that feature photos of each graduate. Plans call for those to be set up on Main on Thursday, May 14 and stay up through graduation. A commencement program and scholarship book will be created, Sugden said, but how those will be distributed has yet to be determined.
Sugden and other school officials ask the Challis business community to decorate the fronts of their buildings prior to graduation, to show their support of the students and join in the celebration.
The parade will be filmed by a drone, as well as with video cameras and still cameras.