The Grad Parade is back after a long lockdown year


Parents and teachers are hoping to celebrate the 2021 grads in style, despite a difficult and long COVID-19 year.

The Graduation Class of 2021 will be holding an outdoor ceremony on Wednesday, June 23, but unfortunately there are even more pandemic rules this year, said school vice-principal Erica Hilhorst.

“We definitely have more restrictions this year, with the grads remaining in their vehicles with their families,” she said. “They will only be able to leave the vehicle to cross the stage, and returning to the vehicle before the next grad can cross the stage.” 

The ceremony itself will only be open to the graduates, their immediate family, and a select few staff members to run the ceremony, said the school.

But the parade that follows the ceremony will be a time to cheer and celebrate the grads, said one grad parent.

“The kids have had months of lockdown,” said Terell Korman, whose son is one of this year’s grads. “Social times cancelled, sports cancelled, the basic ways of teens cancelled. It’s all been tough. And High School Grad is such a milestone. Kids look forward to this celebration for most of their high school years. And the parade will offer a time for the community to be there for our grads, and to offer their support for these kids who have put in 13 years of schooling.”

The 2021 KCI Grad Parade will run on Wednesday, June 23, starting at 4 p.m., beginning at the school, and coming out onto King Avenue, heading south. The grads will be transported on flat decks, like last year, in all their glory.

“It would be so great if people were to come and cheer these kids on, fill their hearts, and acknowledge their hard work in this amazing accomplishment of graduating from our dear KCI,” said Korman. “The parade is our only chance for a public celebration. And girls need to show us their dresses!”

The parade (see the map of the route below) will then turn left onto Young Street, then left again and back north onto Rossmore Ave. The route will then turn right onto Finlay Street, and right again onto Clark Ave. all the way down to Park St., where they will turn left. 

They will then proceed along Park St., then right onto Ellis Drive, going down past the hospital, then head north on the highway, turning west onto Park St., and turning north all the way down Broadway. 

When they reach South Railway they will turn right, and right again on Mountain Ave., left onto Finlay St., and right onto Hossack Ave. They will go right on Hamilton, and finally left on Clark, and continue down onto Water Ave., ending the grad parade at the drop-off at the Ag Grounds.

Korman added that keeping long-standing traditions was important, especially during these pandemic times.

“We need a sense of tradition and ceremony,” she said. “We need to take the time, right now, to be joyful in honouring and celebrating our future young adults who are transitioning out into the world. It feels so important.”

KILLARNEY SCHOOL’S GRAD PARADE IS BACK – 2020 grads (from left) Philana Bonk, Jocelyn Wolf and Owen Wall were paraded around on flat decks, along with their fellow graduates, after last year’s graduation ceremony at Killarney School. The Grad Parade is back again this year for the community to enjoy.