Graduation Celebration, a free all-night party for high school graduates in Oak Ridge, will host its 21st annual event at the Oak Ridge Civic Center from 10 p.m. May 31 until 5 a.m. June 1.
About 85 percent of the graduating class attends each year, and close to 5,000 Oak Ridge students have enjoyed this tradition since 1997, a press release said. The Oak Ridge Youth Advisory Board picks the theme each year, and this year it’s “Old Hollywood.” The Civic Center will be decorated in black, gold, and red, with plenty of glitter to go around, said event chairperson Debbie Magill.
“We are so glad to be able to offer this wonderful event to our graduates,” Magill said. “It shows our youth that the City of Oak Ridge cares about them and is proud of their accomplishments. We could not put on this event without the generous support of the Oak Ridge Parks and Recreation Department, the Youth Advisory Board (YAB), and the citizens and businesses of our city.”
All of the city’s high school graduates, including those from Oak Ridge High School, homeschool, or private schools are invited to the free event, the press release said.
Non-ORHS students must download a registration packet located on the student page of www.GraduationCelebration, and register by May 1. (Here’s the link: http://graduationcelebration.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/GC-Application-for-Participation.pdf.)
The party features activities such as laser tag, bingo, Sumo wrestling, SCUBA in the Civic Center pool, face painting, board games, and the annual “balloon drop” of cash and prizes. More than $13,000 in prizes and scholarships are given every year.
The grand finale prize of the evening will be a drawing for a $1,000 vacation package, donated by YAB, and a $500 Outdoor Package, which includes a Trek bicycle, donated by YAB and the Oak Ridge Bicycle Center.
Graduation Celebration is a nonprofit organization, and donations may be tax deductible. Volunteers must be 21 years old, and they are especially needed from midnight until 5 a.m.
To volunteer or send a donation, please visit www.graduationcelebration.org. Mailed donations can be sent to PO Box 6546, Oak Ridge, TN 37831.
Student registration is also under way at the website as well, and the event has pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.