By Jamie Leary

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Summit County shut down main street in Breckenridge on Wednesday to celebrate its graduating high school seniors.

(credit: CBS)

“Everybody’s here lining up celebrating, honking horns and ringing that bell because we’re so proud of the class of 2021,” said Doug Blake, Assistant Principal at Summit high school.

Thanks to the outpouring of support from town and county officials, the parade may just stick around. First responders including firefighters, EMS, police and search and rescue were all stacked up along Main Street to support the graduates.

(credit: CBS)

This is the second graduation parade the town has hosted for graduates from Summit County High, Snowy Peaks, and the Peaks School. The first parade was a result of the pandemic and many hope it will become a tradition.

“Last year we were sitting here, and we were scared, it was a scary time and we’re finally reunifying, coming together for a really special event to get everybody together after the disruption of learning,” said Blake.

It’s the first-year students have had the opportunity to formally gather and celebrate, thinking about college instead of the pandemic.

(credit: CBS)

“I’m just kinda glad it’s over. I’m glad I get to go to college, and it might be normal,” said one Summit High senior.

CBS4 had the opportunity to speak to many of the grads and the resounding message? This past year with online learning has been very difficult.

“This year was actually really hard. Like, it was not an easy start,” one senior said taking a deep breath. “The amount of times I was quarantined throughout the school year was not fun, but honestly, keep pushing. You have teachers here for a reason to support you and to help you along the way.”

For other seniors, their lessons usually came with a deep breath.

“You just gotta keep going, man. Like, no matter how tough it might get, you just gotta keep pushing through and eventually you’ll be done just like we are now. You’ll make it through,” said one graduate.

Jamie Leary