May 22, 2020
By: Staff Report
Celebrating Plant City’s Graduating High School Seniors!
PLANT CITY — Plant City is proud of all its 2020 high school graduates who live in and around the city, whether they attended Plant City High School or any other school. That is why Plant City Mayor Rick Lott is announcing a very special, once-in-a-lifetime surprise for these motivated teen residents—a vehicle parade at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 30, through Plant City’s beautiful historic downtown district.
“Our students have been through a lot this year,” said Susan Sullivan, Plant City High School principal. “They left for spring break and have not been able to return to the halls of their schools. They didn’t get to say goodbye to their favorite teachers. Our seniors missed out on prom, gradbash, senior slideshow, baccalaureate and so many more special moments. While dealing with these disappointments, they have had to work at home to finish their academic requirements online, separated from their teachers and friends during this quarantine. And now they face the challenge of a delayed and uncertain graduation ceremony.”
“Our community couldn’t stand by and do nothing,” said Lott. “We had to figure out a way to safely celebrate this very special class. We wanted to make sure that COVID-19 didn’t rob them of their graduation experience. We had to make sure we found the right way to safely honor them for their hard work and to send them off in style as the class of 2020! Our City Commission and community leaders all agreed this had to be done in true Plant City style.”
They invited the help of Gail Lyons, president of the board of Berry Fine Productions. Lyons and her team of volunteers host the Florida Strawberry Festival Grand Parade and make it a special occasion every year. Their expert touch will help create a wonderful, memorable and safe event for the graduates.
All students are encouraged to wear their graduation caps and gowns and may decorate (appropriately!) their cars. The Plant City High School valedictorian and salutatorian will ride in a convertible leading the parade.
Lineup will take place in the midtown area in Plant City from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. on Evers and Wheeler streets (near the Mad Zone Jump House) for a 10 a.m. start. The
procession will head north on Evers Street and then turn right onto Reynolds Street, right onto Collins Street, right onto South Maki Road, ending up at the east parking lot of Plant City High School.
There is no fee to participate in or watch the parade; however, there is an application process to determine how many cars to expect and how many volunteers will be needed. Students should check their Edsby accounts for information.
“This isn’t going to be just another parade, it’s going to be the longest parade route in recent Plant City history,” said Lott. “While we celebrate our seniors, we also want to make sure everyone stays safe through social distancing along the route. We encourage spectators to wear masks. We can be safe and have fun at the same time. The Plant City Police Department will provide barricades and traffic control to provide additional safety measures along the parade route.”
Everyone is invited to attend.
“For those who feel comfortable, please join us as we show our graduates how much they mean to us and show the world what a special hometown Plant City is,” said Lott.
“We hope that not only the students’ family and friends will turn out to show their love and support, but that our residents and businesses will also come out,” said Lyons. “Make some homemade signs. Wave a flag. Show our graduating seniors that their town believes in them as they prepare to enter a very uncertain world!”
Students need to pre-register and sign forms at https://wke.lt/w/s/R1xsV9.