Photo: A Belmont High grad with his crew on hand.
How could it be any better? Sunny skies, summer temperatures, the roads open by a police and fire escort while residents, friends and family cheering all the way. Yes, the rolling rally for Belmont High School’s Class of 2020 was a success for a group of students who saw so much of their final days in school closed down due to the world wide coronavirus pandemic.
With nearly the entire traditional graduation script – from skip day to prom, the class cruise and receiving their diplomas in front of family in the school’s field house – wiped clean, it was clearly a time for the town and high school to think beyond the normal celebrations to honor the tow’s 328 graduating seniors.
So taking the cue from other communities, the high school administration and Belmont public safety arrived with an event that has proven a hit with Boston sports teams: the rolling rally. Instead of the town coming to a specific location to cheer on the class, have the class come to them as vehicles with the student’s on board ride through town, driving through Belmont’s business center’s and passing by the town’s four elementary and the Chenery Middle schools.
Starting at noon from the Boston Temple, the caravan was greeted the entire way by applause and shouts from family and strangers. The rally snaked through the Center, into Waverley and up to Cushing before heading back to the high school.
Belmont Police Chief James MacIssac said that earlier in the day the number of vehicle topped 160 with more coming just as the rally was beginning. He said no incidents or complaints from the public occurred.
With near universal approval from everyone involved, could a rally become a graduation tradition?