50 vehicle rule nixes grad ceremonies at Starlight Drive-In - InfoNews

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50 vehicle rule nixes grad ceremonies at Starlight Drive-In

The Starlight Drive-In in Enderby is seen in this file photo taken on July 22, 2019.
May 26, 2020 - 2:14 PM

The graduating classes of at least four Okanagan and Shuswap high schools scheduled to have had their grad ceremonies at Enderby's Starlight Drive-In have had their celebrations cancelled.

Armstrong's Pleasant Valley Secondary School, A.L. Fortune Secondary School in Enderby, along with the Vernon Christian School and Sicamous Eagle River Secondary, had all planned graduation ceremonies to be shown on the big screen at the drive-in.

Starlight Drive-In owner operator Brian Smith confirmed by email the cancellations with iNFOnews.ca.

The news comes days after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry amended a public health order that limited 50 vehicles at outdoor drive-in events. The Starlight had been at about 50 per cent normal capacity, allowing 100 vehicles with social distancing since it reopened earlier this month.

Pleasant Valley Secondary School principal Chelsea Prince said she found out the news late last night.

"I had a few sleepless hours in the middle of the night," she told iNFOnews.ca. "I feel like I've been the face of lots of disappointing messages to the students."

Prince said plans will still go ahead to film the grads in their cap and gowns walking across the stage, but how the final film will be viewed is currently unknown. The principal said several ideas were in the works, including a possible Facebook viewing party, but nothing had yet been finalized.

She said the graduating students were really disappointed but she was proud of their resilience.

A.L. Fortune Secondary School secretary Tracey Castle said the school was currently brainstorming what to do for the grads now the event at the drive-in had been cancelled.

With grad celebration cancelled, Vernon councillor Brian Quiring put forward an idea to allow graduating students to graffiti Suicide Hill. Quiring said the stretch of 30 Avenue known locally as Suicide Hill had traditionally been a place grad students were allowed to write their names. City staff are looking into his proposal.

How the new rules will affect the Starlight Drive-In remains to be seen. Smith didn't immediately respond to an email asking whether the cinema would continue to play movies.


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