In honor of the Class of 2020, Mead High parent throws a cap and gown parade for seniors

Despite the pandemic, parents and community members find ways to honor their seniors


Faith Hale

The parade invites all seniors to wear their caps and gowns.

Join MHS seniors and their families on Saturday, June 13. The parade will start at Mead High School at 12 p.m. 

Parent and small business owner Teresa MacPhail of the Longmont restaurant Mac’s Place planned the senior parade in the town of Mead to honor the class of 2020.

Inspired by the online conversations of other parents and family members, MacPhail saw this as an opportunity. She heard Mead community parents discussing the idea of a senior parade, but many couldn’t plan it because so many families have been busy working from home and taking care of their kids or don’t have the resources. 

Despite the pandemic and its setbacks, MacPhail said, “When you have a senior in your house that’s been crying for the last three month,s and [their friends are sad too], you kind of want to go the extra mile.”

Right now, MacPhail’s business is closed, so she has extra time on her hands to take advantage of. 

MacPhail is also the parent of graduating senior and newspaper/broadcast editor Abi MacPhail (‘20) and Marcel MacPhail, who graduated in 2019. 

Planning an event like this is a large undertaking. “It takes a village,” said MacPhail.

After emailing the Mead City Office, she was contacted by Mead’s Chief of Police Brent Newbanks, who fully supported the event as it is 100 percent parent-organized. 

MacPhail was also contacted by the Mountain View Fire Department, who will be at the parade not only to lead the procession and show support for seniors but also as a safety precaution.

MacPhail feels that having connections through her local business has helped in planning the event as well.

“I was able to reach out to the Mead Chamber of Commerce and got a couple of referrals,” said MacPhail. These referrals include a professional photographer and more to be unveiled. 

MacPhail has received much of her support through Mead community members. She explained that she had many parents share ideas for the event and offer to bring or make things. 

“We’ve got a lot of moms and dads that really want to make something special,” said MacPhail.

She says the reason for the overwhelming support is because the event “snowballed” as more and more people heard about it through Facebook. The event created by MacPhail is called the “Mead High 2020 CAP & GOWN parade”. So far, there are 107 people that are going or interested in going to the event. 

If the parade is going by or near your house, MacPhail encourages you to step out and wave to the seniors as they pass by.

MacPhail wants this to be a special experience for the Mead seniors. Here’s what to do:

1. Find the facebook event and reply that you’re going in order for MacPhail to get an accurate headcount.

2. Decorate your cars at home in order to maintain social distancing guidelines. Add your name to a poster or write it on the back of your car.

3. Wear your cap and gown to the event, and if you’re going to college, wear the t-shirt of the college you’ll be attending in the fall. You can have one to three seniors per car.

4. You’ll get in a car line to start the parade. Don’t worry if you get confused, there will be teachers and parents to help guide cars into a line and you will be following the fire truck the whole way. 

5. If you want to sit on the back of your truck or stand up in your car, Macphail asks that you limit it as much as possible and do it as safely as possible.

Lastly, “The mask option is there,” according to MacPhail. If you have someone you want to protect or feel more comfortable wearing a mask, please do so, but it is not required. 

Anyone who is sick should not attend the parade.

Here is a map of the parade route:

*An earlier version of this article said the parade was on Saturday June 11, but it is actually on June 13.*