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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.

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.