Neenah celebrates graduates with parade through town

Neenah graduates parade through the city in their caps and gowns (WBAY photo)
Neenah graduates parade through the city in their caps and gowns (WBAY photo)(WBAY)
Published: May. 27, 2020 at 4:07 PM CDT
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Graduation season is here, but ceremonies and celebrations are looking much different than years past because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Decorating cars in the high school parking lot isn't the pomp and circumstance Neenah High School seniors thought they'd be experiencing.

"My awesome dad made that for me for my car so I could deck out my car," says Alec Bartz about the large graduation cap mounted to his car.

The Class of 2020 is taking the end of their high school career in stride.

Alex Lee says, "It's really exciting. I've been looking forward to this moment since freshman year."

To celebrate its graduates, the Neenah School District planned a procession for students through town on Wednesday.

According to high school principal Brian Wunerlich, "It's sad and it's celebratory. These kids have been in our building for four years, they've done some really awesome things, and while this isn't the same as graduation it will be kind of cool."

Teachers, families, community members and friends lined the streets to cheer on the graduates -- a celebration of the success and accomplishments for the nearly 475 seniors who haven't seen most of their classmates since mid-March.

"It's definitely crazy. I'm excited that we got to do something. It's weird seeing everybody we haven't seen in so long but I'm excited," says graduate Chloe Abing.

While a parade through town isn't how anybody in the Class of 2020 expected to celebrate graduation, students and parents say it's a unique way to celebrate.

Graduate Alexis Zemlock says, "It's really exciting. It's definitely something new and fun, so I'm just happy that we can do something to celebrate."

Zemlock's dad, Aaron Zemlock, adds, "Not exactly your traditional graduation, but the silver lining is obviously it's not a traditional graduation and they get to do an awesome thing and great community support."

While riding through town and being celebrated is exciting, Neenah's Class of 2020 is officially graduating during a virtual ceremony at 7 P.M. on Wednesday.

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