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Daughter’s graduation ceremony was canceled so friends and others held a mini-parade instead

FERNDALE, Wash. — The Ferndale family of a recent graduate from Western Washington University had been looking forward to the March 21st WWU graduation ceremony but were disappointed when it was cancelled as part of the state’s social distancing mandates to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 disease.

“They cancelled the last couple of weeks for the quarter, they cancelled the graduation ceremony and the restaurant we were going to for the celebratory lunch had to close,” the mom explained in an email. Then she saw a story on TV about a birthday party with a parade of cars. She said it was only 3 cars but “it’s still a parade.”

Inspired, the mom reached out to some of her daughter’s friends and asked if they would be willing to do a “social distancing” drive-by parade in her honor on their cul-de-sac. Participants were invited to drive by their Ferndale home at the scheduled time and honk their horns, wave and cheer.

The mom said she later opened up the invitation via social media for everyone in the Ferndale community to join in the fun. All this planning was done without the daughter’s knowledge because, of course, would be a surprise.

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The parade happened today, Saturday, March 28th, with several of their friends and people from the community showing up, many bringing flowers, cards, balloons and other gifts. The mom shared her video of the event below. The graduate’s exclamations of surprise can be heard along with mom’s happy chuckling.

The mom said, “I’m glad I did it and so happy by the number of cars that showed up.” When asked if the graduate was surprised, her mom said, “She was so surprised by the whole thing.”


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