Graduating seniors from Palo Alto high schools participated in a car parade around Palo Alto earlier this evening as part of their ongoing high school graduation celebrations.

The parade took place from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and completed a loop passing through many Palo Alto neighborhoods. 

Students donned their caps and gowns and covered their vehicles in elaborate decorations, honking their car horns and blasting music as they drove. Palo Alto community members lined the sidewalks along the parade route, holding signs and cheering for the seniors in their cars. 

“It’s a cool tradition that involves more than just Paly seniors and [I] would love to see it happen again [after the pandemic],” Paly senior Emma Wu said. “The energy is super fun and it’s so sweet to see the community show up to celebrate as well.” 

The car parade celebration was first introduced last year and served as a COVID-19-safe graduation celebration for the Class of 2020. While traditional graduation ceremonies, modified in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, will be held at all four Palo Alto high schools this year, the car parade has remained a way for the greater community to celebrate the graduating class.

“I really like how the car parade tradition is so inclusive of everyone in the community,” Paly senior Megan Wong said. “There might be people who aren’t able to make it to the graduation ceremony or don’t personally know anyone who’s graduating, but they can still come out and show their support for all the students who’ve worked hard.”