The Class of 2020 may have started the tradition last year, but the Class of 2021 has made it their mission to continue the idea of a two-towns car parade to kick off graduation mindset for all residents in Manchester and Essex.

The day before the class’ proper graduation ceremony, the class gathered in the parking lot of Manchester Essex Regional High School to line up and ready up to spool in a line of colorful cars and run the car parade route, lined with cheering family and friends with signs and yelps of congratulations and joy.

The seniors left the driveway of the high school in their vehicles.  School Principal Patricia Puglisi, Superintendent Pamela Beaudoin and Office Manager Mary Lumsden cheered them off from the start of the parade route on Arbella Street.  They swung through downtown Manchester, and they spun Singing Beach before heading off to Essex to run the Causeway, along Martin Street and John Wise Avenue before returning to the school.

Last year, the parade marked the first time a graduation was made a community event, because of COVID restrictions prevented a walking ceremony with full spectators.  The proverbial mountain went to Mohamed, and the parade was a form of graduation.  But this year, it was more a straightforward celebration, kicking off the proper ceremony that came the following day.  From the reception it received, it looks like the parade is here to stay.

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