By Jennifer Brice

DENVER (CBS4) – For thousands of Colorado seniors, having your graduation ceremony at Red Rocks Amphitheatre is an exciting tradition. But this week’s rare mid-May snowstorm is ruining those plans for students in Jefferson County and Douglas County.

A photo shows Castle View High School’s graduation at Red Rocks on Wednesday (credit: Douglas County School District)

Three Jefferson County schools had commencement exercises scheduled for Red Rocks on Thursday, but now they are moving them indoors.

– Green Mountain High School graduation will now be at the school gym at 2 p.m. Thursday.
– Bear Creek High School graduation will be at the Denver Coliseum at 7 p.m. Thursday.
– Columbine High School graduation is rescheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday in the school gym.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre (credit: CBS)

Larry Lagerbarg’s son is graduating from Green Mountain; He says the change to an indoor venue also forced families to limit their available seats.

“There’s only six people per family allowed, so we had to pare it down a little bit,” he said.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre (credit: CBS)

Last minute change to accommodations can get complicated, according to Diana Wilson with Jeffco Schools.

“It’s not just the weather, it is how do you get the snow removed, how safe are the roads, how are you going to people parked?”

Red Rocks Amphitheatre (credit: CBS)

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Tiffany Weeks’ daughter was also graduating on Thursday. She told CBS4 she’s glad that at least the ceremony is still going on, rather than being canceled.

“I’m positive about that, convenient or inconvenient. I’m happy to be here to celebrate our kids,” Weeks said.

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On Thursday afternoon Red Rocks Amphitheatre announced that no graduation ceremonies will take place at the venue on Friday. Also, the Colorado School of Mines will not hold any graduation ceremonies Friday. That means the following changes of venues for some Jeffco Schools:

– Dakota Ridge High School graduation will be at the Denver Coliseum at 9 a.m.
– Evergreen High School graduation will be at the Denver Coliseum at 2 p.m.
– Chatfield High School graduation will be at the Denver Coliseum at 7 p.m.
– Golden High School will hold its graduation ceremony in its own gym at 9 a.m.

In the Douglas County School District, two graduation ceremonies that had been scheduled for Red Rocks on Friday were moved to Saturday:

– Rock Canyon High School graduation will take place at Echo Park Stadium at 9 a.m.
– Douglas County High School graduation will take place at Douglas County High’s stadium at 1 p.m.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre (credit: CBS)

Schools in Douglas County who had graduation ceremonies on Wednesday fared much better with the weather. Castle View, Highlands Ranch and Mountain Vista graduates all received their diplomas at Red Rocks Wednesday (about 1,500 seniors altogether).

Denver Arts & Venues urges anyone who is attending a graduation ceremony at the Coliseum to be aware of construction on Brighton Boulevard. There are detours everywhere and families are urged to allow an extra 30-45 minutes travel time.


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