Detroit Lakes High School's Class of 2020 will graduate together at Mollberg Field on June 28, but parents, family members and other well-wishers will most likely need to watch the 2:30 p.m. festivities online.
"We can now have 250 people at Mollberg Field, but the unfortunate piece of this is we will not be able to have any guests in attendance," Detroit Lakes School Board member April Thomas said at a Monday, June 15, school board meeting.
Nevertheless, she said, "We're excited that the students will get an actual ceremony, and be able to be together one last time."
Thomas, who has been part of the committee planning this year's commencement, added that while they are hoping the state's pandemic-induced restrictions on large gatherings will be eased enough by the end of this month to be able to allow a limited number of guests to be on site for the ceremony, the event will be live streamed regardless.
"It will be a little bittersweet (with no guests)," she said, "but I'm really glad we made the decision to wait. It paid off. The class of 2020 will be able to be together on Mollberg Field, and graduate together."
In a letter that was sent Monday to the parents of the graduating seniors, high school Principal Darren Wolf described the graduation committee's plans in detail.
"We are happy to report that the Minnesota Department of Education has now decided that outside graduations can in fact take place as long as there are no more than 250 people involved," he wrote. "The students we have talked to are very excited to be all together one last time and we can now make that happen for our seniors.
"We are required to follow the guidelines set by the governor of Minnesota. So, this will unfortunately mean that unless something changes, we won’t be able to have guests in attendance at the ceremony. We know that this isn’t perfect, but given the choice between being in a car with family or on the field all together with their classmates, we felt that the better option for the kids was being together on the field."
What: Detroit Lakes High School graduation
When: 2:30 p.m. Sunday, June 28
Where: Mollberg Field on campus
Who: Due to social distancing, only participating seniors and staff members will be allowed at the ceremony. No guests will be allowed.
Instructions: Face masks will be required at the ceremony for all participating seniors and staff. Seniors are asked to park in the regular community parking area at Mollberg Field, then walk to the west side of the field, by the end zone, arriving no later than 1:45 p.m.
The students will line up and, at 2:30 p.m., will march into the stadium for the 60- to 90-minute ceremony. The graduates will exit the field and stand in a reception line just outside the stadium. At approximately 4 p.m., the gates will be opened, and parents and well-wishers can begin driving down the stadium road past the students, honking their horns in congratulations.
All those who choose to participate will be asked to remain in their vehicles.
Watch or listen: The event will be available on video livestream, and live audio will be available on KDLM radio.