LAKELAND — The ceremonies were held later on the calendar than normal and under unique circumstances, but the respective senior classes for Ridge Community High and Haines City High ultimately got their in-person graduation ceremonies within the past week or so.
Ceremonies for all Polk County Public Schools high schools have been moved to Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland — the spring training home of the Detroit Tigers — to accommodate guidelines from local, state and federal officials.
The Bolts graduated first, on Saturday, June 13, and — fittingly enough, given the school’s mascot — the ceremony was delayed somewhat by lightning in the area.
Five days later, on Thursday, June 18, the Haines City Hornets had their big day.
Students wore masks and families were seated far enough apart at the stadium — which seats more than 8,500 spectators when full — to meet social distancing guidelines.