Senior Salute Parade is dropped from schedule for Class of 2022

Parade has been discontinued due to a decline in popularity and need


Class of 2021 graduate Rachel Brown waves at Lafayette staff members in the parking lot during the Senior Salute Parade. Though school was being held in-person again during this time, the parade for seniors continued to be a special way to honor those graduating.

Caroline Black, Staff Reporter

The Class of 2020 as well as staff, family and community members gathered in the Lafayette parking lot to take advantage of the opportunity to celebrate the seniors at the Senior Salute Parade in May of 2020. Senior Lucy Moloney rode in the parade with her graduating sister, Ellie. 

“The parade was a super fun experience for not only my sister but for my whole family. It was really exciting to see all our teachers from past years and how happy they were to see us. It was awesome to watch all the seniors and how special they all felt after such a hard year,” Moloney said. 

Other celebrations and special memories in addition to the parade itself were created. 

“We met up with all of her friends beforehand and all the families had a party for the girls. My family decorated the car a few hours before the parade so we could surprise Ellie. We made posters and hung streamers on the car. It was super fun and it was awesome to see her reaction,” Moloney said.       

The Senior Salute Parade began in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty it created.      

“We weren’t sure if we were going to have a graduation ceremony at all during that time. Everything was in complete shutdown and we were really nervous that we weren’t going to have any way to celebrate graduation so we came up with this idea for the car parade as a potential graduation ceremony. When we found out that the Power Plex was available and we could do that, we still kept the car parade just because we hadn’t been in school since March and as a way for families and kids to celebrate graduation,” Assistant Principal Colleen Fields said.            

Despite the parade’s popularity in 2020, fewer people attended the event last year, leading administrators to a decision to bring these parades to an end. 

“Last year we had it because we were still kind of in that pandemic time. But if you look at comparisons, the first time we did it all kinds of people showed up and everyone was excited and then last year was kind of ‘eh’ because we got to do more things. Then this year, we’ve been able to do everything,” Fields said. “I don’t think it garnered the same excitement because of what it represented in the start. It’s not like we’re trying to take things away but we’re having a full-blown senior week, we’re having a full-blown Prom, we had a full-blown Homecoming. We had all the things that we would want to give you that opportunity to have so that’s why we’re drifting away from that.”

This decision was decided not just by Lafayette but was discussed with the entire district. All Rockwood School District high schools will no longer be doing the parade. 

“It was a collective decision by all four high schools. I know there was a discussion with the head principals of all four buildings, there was a conversation at a district level, and then a conversation within our building. I talked to our LPO parents and directors and they were like ‘yeah it makes sense.’ It was pretty unanimous in that the desire for it had just waned last year,” Fields said. 

Although the parade lost its initial popularity and excitement, it will still be missed. 

“I was told that the parade was going to stick around for the next few years so I was really looking forward to it because I saw how happy my sister was during the parade. I was definitely disappointed to hear we didn’t get it, but I understand that we had a more normal senior year than the class of 2020 and 2021, but I still wish we could have the senior parade,” Moloney said.     

Despite the removal of the parade, there are still many events to look forward to. 

“I believe that seniors are getting a good amount of recognition. I’m really excited for the events like the Cardinals game, Prom, Senior Week, the senior lock-in, and a normal graduation at the Chaifetz Arena. It felt nice to have a normal school year again, especially since it was our senior year,” Moloney said.