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Celebrating Riverhead’s Class of 2020 with drive-through parade: Photos

A message written on the back of a pickup truck cautioned motorists to “Stay back 6 feet.” Another vehicle featured a sign that read “Honk for me! I’m a 2020 senior!” Except the zeroes were drawn with rolls of toilet paper.

At any other point in time, the signs would have seemed quite perplexing.

But there’s never been a senior year for a high school graduating class quite like this one underway for the Class of 2020.

Riverhead High School’s graduating class was treated to a parade through the high school parking lot Friday evening as dozens of teachers and staff members, firefighters and EMTs cheered on. While the coronavirus pandemic has thrown the final 3 1/2 months of the school year into a whirlwind of social distancing and remote learning, the Class of 2020 is still finding ways to celebrate in lieu of typical traditions.

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Students lined up their cars decorated for the event as far as the eye could see down North Griffing Avenue in advance of the parade’s start. From there, each car — many with students sitting on the roof waving, or hanging out a window — slowly drove up and down a mapped out route in the parking lot.

After passing through all the supporters in the back parking lot, the students were greeted by a row of firetrucks and ambulances in the front parking lot and a large American flag hanging between two trucks as they made their exit onto Harrison Avenue.