Marysville School District graduating seniors rode through Marysville and Tulalip to celebrate their commencement on May 29.

Students rode along a route that took them to all four local high schools and through much of the Marysville community.

Residents and parents came out along the route to wave signs and cheer them on.

Because of COVID-19 seniors and their parents missed out on many of the milestones of the final year of high school.

Many were disappointed that a traditional commencement would be impossible this year.

"I was really upset because it was going to be a last hurrah with my friends and knowing we wouldn't be able to have that," said local senior Keili Roberts.

Shanna Young, a local parent and one of the parade's organizers, said it was disappointing for her as well.

"You look forward to watching your child walk across the stage for 13 years and, through nobody's fault, it gets canceled this year," she said.

Parents were originally told a graduation ceremony with two parents allowed would be possible, but those plans eventually had to change.

It was at that time one local parent decided to begin organizing an event for the seniors that would become the parade.

"It's a group that decided to just get together and do this," said Rachel Loertscher, one of the parents and organizers of the event.

Some district staff were also involved in the planning but they were not representing the school district in an official capacity.

The event did have the support of schools, the city and the local fire district, said Young.

Approximately 250 cars were involved with the parade, many featuring decorations and balloons.

Many of the people involved said they enjoyed the event.

"I think it was a really great thing, just so we did have something positive," said graduating senior Peyton Schmidt. "It was a great thing to be a part of."

Cars filled with seniors and families drove through the Marysville and Tulalip area on a route that took them past many groups of onlookers and supporters.

"I liked the sense of community when everyone was cheering on the seniors as they were driving by," said Schmidt. "I don't think I've seen something like that before where everyone comes together."

Roberts said she enjoyed that it wasn't a typical graduation ceremony.

"I thought that it was super unique and unexpectedly fun," she said. "I liked being able to see my friends and family on the side of the road and it was really cool."

For many it was a more active ceremony for the occasion.

"I heard from a lot of kids that it was more relaxed and fun, because it wasn't just sitting around waiting to walk across a stage," said Young.

Marysville and Tulalip residents came out to support the seniors and watch the parade.

"So much of the community came out to support the kids, even those who didn't have seniors," said Young.

She hopes the parade will be a special event for the Class of 2020 to make up a little for all they lost because of the pandemic.

"They lost out on prom, on parties, on their graduation," said Young.

"My daughter is a dancer and she lost out on her dance season, and many lost out on sports," she said.

Many of the parents said that the event went well.

"A lot of the parents want to make it an annual tradition now," said Loertscher, although whether that will happen remains to be seen.

Roberts appreciated everyone who helped organized the event.

"I want to thank the parents who put this together," she said. "It just made our senior year so much better."

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.