Summit’s seniors get creative with graduation parties |

Summit’s seniors get creative with graduation parties

Since Summit County moved into level green on the county’s COVID-19 dial last week, largely removing social distancing requirements and capacity restrictions, more high school graduates can gather to celebrate their achievements.

While still remaining cautious of the coronavirus, Summit County families have a bit more freedom to hold normal graduation parties this year. Though, some are still getting creative.

Liz Duxbury, mother of Summit High School senior Andrew Duxbury, is hosting an “open house” party outside her home as opposed to a traditional party. She said she will have outdoor games on her front lawn and driveway, welcoming friends and family in and out throughout the day.

Allowing guests to come and go as they please will limit the amount of people gathered in a large group, and Duxbury said since so many people are vaccinated — including her whole family — she feels comfortable hosting at her house.

Duxbury added that despite the county switching to level green, she will continue with the open-house format of the party as originally planned. She continued to say she’s “just so thankful” that she’s able to hold a celebration for her son this year.

Katharine Orr, mother of Summit High School senior McKenna Orr, plans to have two parties to celebrate her daughter’s graduation. Orr never doubted that she would have a party to celebrate, but she wasn’t entirely sure what it would look like or how many people could attend.

Orr said she started planning the celebration when Summit County was pushed back to level orange, and she decided two smaller parties would be safer than one. Even though the county is now in level green, Orr said she decided to keep doing two parties to keep things small. She said she feels she has a little more freedom now knowing she won’t have to worry about capacity restrictions.

She will host the first party following the graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 29, just for family. She’ll host the second party the next day for friends.

Orr said she is excited to be able to host a celebration for her daughter, and she’s remained positive with her mindset while planning.

“I think in previous years I would have felt excited but also kind of stressed about all the work that’s involved in having a bunch of people to your house,” she said. “But the work just doesn’t even daunt me now because I’m so excited, and I think that our friends and family are excited just to gather together and be with each other.

“I don’t care that I might cook and clean for a week on either end of the party. … It just feels so worth it because we’re all so relieved and happy to be together.”

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