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Parade completes the big day

Catasauqua Area School District held its commencement for the Class of 2020 at Alumni Field July 25. The communities of North Catasauqua and Catasauqua boroughs offered to hold a late-afternoon parade for the 2020 graduates to further recognize their achievements.

There was a concern by municipal leaders that all commencements would be canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, thereby depriving the Catasauqua graduates from receiving the recognition they deserve for finishing high school.

Barbara Schlegel, Catasauqua mayor, and William Molchany, North Catasauqua mayor, labored to coordinate the parade. Catasauqua Police Chief Douglas Kish was instrumental in planning the parade route and coordination. The fire departments were also involved.

Charotin Hose Company No. 1, from North Catasauqua, brought its fire engine, ladder truck, brush truck and all-terrain rescue vehicle. A Catasauqua Fire Department engine truck, a Catasauqua police car and a number of decorated personal cars of the new graduates and families assembled to form an attractive lineup.

The parade meandered through North Catasauqua and Catasauqua boroughs on both main and neighborhood streets through sections of both communities.

The community reception along the parade route was impressive. There were pockets of graduates with their families and neighbors who waved in recognition and celebration as the parade rolled by. People out in their yards on the hot summer day waved with gusto.

Although limitations placed on the graduating seniors, canceled school events and the shift to online school during the spring interrupted the seniors’ final year of high school, the school district’s commencement plans and the coordination of the parade made the graduation day special for the graduates and their families.

PRESS PHOTO BY DONNA GEWERTZ Catasauqua High School graduate Hannah Lewis is ready to ride in the Class of 2020 graduation parade July 25 in her father's 1967 Pontiac Tempest Custom. She is joined by her boyfriend, Rob Eichlin, of Williams Township, and her father, Jason Lewis.
PRESS PHOTOS BY DONNA GEWERTZ Graduate Amber Kalnas is flanked by her parents, MaryJane and Andy, as they wait to participate in the Catasauqua High School graduation parade July 25.
Graduate Emily Miller stands next to a car decorated in honor of her graduation.
Shaziya Roberts, Haley Lewis, Tory Simmons and Madison Hicks, all 2020 CHS graduates, ride in the back of a pickup truck during the parade.