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This weekend will finally bring about some “rites of passage” events for Hiawatha High School seniors.

On Friday night, juniors and seniors will participate in the “Prom Parade” around the Brown County Courthouse square. This event will kick off at 6 p.m. as juniors and seniors will dress for the occasion and celebrate an out-of-the box prom for some fun memories to end the school year.

On Sunday, Hiawatha High School seniors will finally walk across the stage to receive their diplomas.

It’s only a little more than a month late, as due to COVID-19 mass gathering restrictions, most commencements were rescheduled. A virtual option was offered to Hiawatha seniors to still have the graduation in May, however the students and parents were in favor of rescheduling.

This year’s ceremony will look a little different however.

Principal Lori Fordyce said each graduate was given 10 tickets for their family members and guests. This was due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the school wanted to keep numbers a little lower than usual to help with social distancing between families.

Although the county had ceased all COVID-19 restrictions within the past couple of weeks, guidance from the governor’s office still encourages caution with mass gatherings and proposes counties stay within Phase 3 guidelines — however final decisions on restrictions at this time are up to each individual county or municipality.

Commencement is set for 2 p.m. Sunday at the HHS gymnasium with retiring advanced mathemathics instructor Karl Kliewer as the speaker.

Fordyce said they ask that people maintain social distancing and families sit together if possible. Anyone who wants to, or has medical issues, is encouraged to wear a mask. As always, if someone is experiencing symptoms of illness they are asked not to attend.

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