ALLEGANY — After a number of spring events were canceled for Allegany-Limestone High School seniors due to the pandemic, a few teachers came up with the idea to honor the class of 2020 with a parade on Friday.
Principal Cory Pecorella said the parade will start at 12:30 p.m. Friday at the Limestone Community Center and will continue on to Allegany along a route provided below. Superintendent Tony Giannicchi said the idea for a parade came from senior counselor Ashley Malpiedi and teacher Terra Lacroix.
“They started brainstorming ideas to honor the seniors and give them something special,” Giannicchi said. “Ashley and Terra are both educators who value the personal connection with kids, so this whole experience of distance learning really goes against their core values. Getting the whole senior class together while practicing safety protocols was very challenging.”
He said Pecorella and School Resource Officer Deputy Vic Arena took over the planning stages to meet all safety precautions for the event.
“The response to help from the Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, Limestone Fire Department, Allegany Police Department and the Allegany Fire Department was overwhelming,” Giannicchi added. “While not the ideal event for the seniors, I think they, as well as our staff and communities, need this parade to celebrate.”
Giannicchi said the students have been encouraged to decorate their cars, if possible.
“We put the parade out on social media,” he added. “It is a very long route so people will be stretched out for a distance as spectators. We are not encouraging them to gather in one spot. “They can view the parade in a lot of areas,” he continued. “We are getting a count of where staff will be (at the high school) so we can spread them out, as needed.”
For her part, Lacroix said that as a teacher and the mother of a senior the pandemic has really taken a toll on all of the ‘normal’ memories that a senior should have, including prom, the sports season and graduation.
Lacroix said she and Malpiedi, as well as teacher Suzanne Charles, decided to “initiate the charge to create a special moment for the seniors.
“We asked elementary, middle and high school teachers to choose a senior to write a personal letter to,” she stated. “We designed T-shirts with the logo, ‘Allegany-Limestone Seniors 2020 #Quarantined,’ along with their senior quote printed on the back.”
Allegany Mayor Greg Pearl said the village “will do anything the school needs” to help with the parade.
“We would like to set up any vehicle (needed) with lights and/or sirens on First Street for their trip to the high school,” he commented.
In providing details on the parade route, Pecorella said the vehicles will enter at the far end of Main Street in Limestone, toward Bradford, Pa., and line up at the Limestone Community Center. Additional directions are listed in the following itinerary:
• The parade will follow Main Street going north until it ends at the U.S. Route 219 junction.
• It will continue on Route 219 north until the junction with the South Nine Mile Road.
• The parade will then turn on to the South Nine Mile and follow that until Birch Run Road, where units will take a right and will continue until the road ends at Four Mile Road.
• It will take a left on Four Mile and follow that into the village of Allegany.
• At Route 417/ Main Street, the parade will take a right and follow until the junction of North 5th Street.
• The parade will take a left on North 5th Street and follow that until the junction of North 5th and Maple Avenue.
• The parade will take a left onto Maple Avenue and follow that (passing the elementary school) until the junction of Five Mile Road.
• It will then take a right onto Five Mile Road and follow that (passing the middle-high school) until the junction with Eaton Cross Road.
• The parade will take a left onto Eaton Cross Road and follow until the junction with the West Five Mile Road.
• From there it will take a left onto West Five Mile Road and follow until the junction with Chapin Cross Road.
• The parade will take a left onto Chapin Cross Road and follow until the junction with Five Mile Road.
• It will take a left onto Five Mile Road and follow until the entrance to the Allegany-Limestone Middle-High School.
• The parade will enter the middle-high school and proceed to the stop sign.
• At the stop sign the parade will take a right and follow the road around and enter the bus loop.