Steamboat Resort to host graduation ceremony, parade for Class of 2020 |

Steamboat Resort to host graduation ceremony, parade for Class of 2020

Traffic on Lincoln Avenue passes underneath one of two banners that have been displayed downtown honoring the Class of 2020. Steamboat Resort is hosting an invitation-only Routt County Senior Send-Off on Friday, and graduation ceremonies for Steamboat Springs High School will be held virtually Saturday. The public is invited to come out and cheer on the seniors during a parade following Friday's send-off event. The parade will begin from Meadows Parking Lot and go down Mount Werner Road, around Mount Werner Circle to Apres Ski Way, Village Drive and Walton Creek Road, then onto westbound U.S. Highway 40 to Lincoln Avenue. People observing the parade should follow local public health protocols.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Resort is hosting a special graduation ceremony and parade for Routt County high school seniors on Friday.

This comes as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts graduation ceremonies across the country.

The event starts at 3 p.m. with a private ceremony at the Meadows Parking Lot. The resort has a mitigation plan in place to maintain state and local health guidelines, according to Loryn Duke, director of communications for Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. 

Seniors from across the county have registered for the event. Any student who did not register ahead of time can still attend by signing a waiver before the ceremony. 

Attendance at the ceremony is limited to graduating seniors and their families as a safety precaution, Duke said.

The event will begin with a welcoming speech by Ski Corp. President and CEO Rob Perlman, followed by several commencement speeches. Steamboat Radio’s Brian Harvey will be the master of ceremonies, reading off the names of the graduates. 

Steamboat Pilot & Today will provide special coverage of the event, including photos and a Facebook live video.

All students and their families must remain in their vehicles during the event, Duke said. Family members are encouraged to decorate their vehicles and flash their headlights when their children’s names get called. 

“We want to honor these students who worked so hard and have a unique graduating experience,” Duke said.

A parade will follow the ceremony, starting at 4 p.m. A Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue tower truck will lead vehicles from the parking lot up Mount Werner Road and around Mount Werner Circle to Apres Ski Way. The procession will continue down Village Drive, Walton Creek Road and onto westbound U.S. Highway 40.

Steamboat Springs Police Department officers will stop traffic at several intersections along the route to allow the parade to go uninterrupted until it reaches U.S. 40.

Drivers should expect delays in this area and heavy traffic downtown, according to a news release from the city of Steamboat Springs.

When the parade reaches Lincoln Avenue, a Steamboat Resort shuttle bus will lead the parade through downtown, Duke said. There will be no special closures or traffic control along U.S. 40 and Lincoln Avenue for the parade, so all vehicles must follow traffic signals.

The parade offers an opportunity for the public to show their support for the Class of 2020. People may line the roads with banners, signs and other regalia while abiding by health protocols, such as maintaining social distancing and wearing protective masks. Bystanders should not park along Mount Werner Circle or where they could obstruct traffic or hinder visibility.

The ceremony and parade would not have been possible without the support of schools, local government and businesses, Duke added. Alpine Bank sponsored the ceremony, and Mountainside Productions donated a microphone and speakers.

“It really is a collaborative community effort,” Duke said.

Gregory Effinger hands out 2020 senior shirts at Creative Bearings earlier this week. Effinger helped organize, create, print and hand out the T-shirts that were given free to graduating Steamboat Springs High School seniors thanks to donations from Creative Bearings, Steamboat Emergency Center, Geoffrey Gill, Jason Lacy and Kathi Meyer.
John F. Russell

To reach Derek Maiolo, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @derek_maiolo.

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