July 2 is prom and parade night in Parksville and that means traffic changes

The parade will start at 5 p.m. from the parking lot at Springwood Elementary School

An evening of opulence is in store for the Ballenas Secondary School Class of 2016 next week when the annual Grad Parade and Prom take place in downtown Parksville.

The parade, featuring cars, floats and vehicles of every description, will commence at 5 p.m. Saturday, July 2, from the parking lot of Springwood Elementary School. It will follow a route through local streets to the Parksville Convention and Community Centre, which will be decorated in the style of a 1920s mansion for the theme of The Great Gatsby.

“Some of the kids will drive themselves; others get people in the community with unique cars to drive them,” parade chair Richard Reedel said. “There will be floats, convertibles, scooters, golf carts. You’ll even get the odd boat towed behind a truck.”

A red carpet will greet each attendee upon arrival at the PCCC and an announcer will call out names as the grads walk between the ropes to the decorated hall. The prom and dry grad will follow beginning at 7 p.m., with a variety of activities and games on tap.

The City of Parksville issued a release to caution the community of street closures during the parade, for which staging will begin at

3:30 p.m. at Springwood.

The parade will travel along Despard Ave., left on Moilliet Street, turning right on Jensen Ave. to cross the Alberni Highway, right onto Craig Street and left off Craig Street at the cenotaph, into the PCCC parking lot. The road closures will be in effect until the last grad has arrived at the PCCC. The parade is expected to last no more than two hours, the city announced. Parking at the PCCC will also be at a premium during the evening, and visitors are asked to use the gravel lot at the corner of Jensen and the Alberni Highway, or side streets. —NEWS Staff