Students who are part of the Estevan Comprehensive School’s Class of 2020 will have a chance to celebrate on June 12, even if it’s not in the traditional ceremony.
June 12 was supposed to be the night of the grad ceremony at Affinity Place, with more than 2,000 people filling the events centre for the gap and gown celebration, but it had to be cancelled due to COVID-19.
So Michael Keating, whose son Jamison is one of this year’s grads, has organized a cruise that will take place that evening.
It will depart the Derrick Motor Inn site at 7 p.m., and will make its way through the city, going down Fourth Street, 13th Avenue, Souris Avenue North and Isabelle Street, then turn around and head back to the Derrick.
“We want the kids to dress up their cars, with signs in their windows. We want it to be fun and exciting,” said Keating.
Participants are encouraged to make multiple loops around the city before heading home.
Keating said the circuit was selected because he remembered using it when he was young, and many others used it, too.
“That’s always been the cruise in Estevan, since I was a kid and since my parents were kids. We always did that, that was the cruise,” Keating said.
It’s billed to end at 8 p.m., but it could go later, and people don’t necessarily have to start at 7 p.m. at the Derrick, either.
There isn’t a designated meeting place once the cruise is finished.
Keating expects to have a big turnout of people on the cruise. He has talked to a lot of the grads.
“I specifically want to make sure the grads are out there, but I have it open to anybody … who wants to do the cruise and support the grads,” said Keating.
Plenty of businesses have agreed to dress up the front of their stores to recognize the grads as well. He has spoken to every business on 13th Avenue and Fourth Street about decorating their storefront, and showing off how much everyone appreciates this year’s class.
The Estevan Fire Rescue Service will have their fire trucks out at the fire hall on 13th Avenue.
People are also encouraged to decorate their homes to salute the grads.
“I have a bunch of grad signs made. I have all the grads with Graduating Class 2020, with their names on it, all running down 13th Avenue’s (and Souris Avenue’s) boulevards.”
The 188 signs are two feet by one foot each, and will be in the grassy area.
Grads are urged to find their sign and take it home with them.
Keating said he decided to organize the event for the grads so they could go out and enjoy the day and so they could be proud of the fact they graduated. The response from grads, parents and businesses has been amazing.
“The biggest thing is to stay safe out there. We don’t want gatherings after and things like that. This is just to be a cruise night that is still legal for us to do.”
He’s thankful for the parents and the businesses for the support they have received.