Jump to content

Menu

Recommended Posts

Dd is graduating!  Yay!  Dd has been homeschooled from day one and many people in our community have taken part in her education over the years.  We had always hoped to celebrate with all of them.  We had an elaborate graduation plan that we have been brainstorming for years.  Dd is a musician and plays in several local bands and groups.  Our plan was to rent out a local music venue/bar/restaurant, have a "real" graduation ceremony on stage, then open the stage for walk-up picking, sometimes with dd, sometimes not.  Breaks in the music for people to speak if they want.  Food, cash bar, etc.......   We figured about 200-300 people, coming and going throughout the event.

Obviously, much of that plan is no longer possible.  The venue we had in mind is technically allowed to be open at 50% capacity but the owner does not feel he has adequate ventilation to be safe for his staff or patrons to actually be open (I agree, FTR) and there are no viable alternatives.  Even if there were, we are not comfortable with an indoor event.  

So, we are rethinking and trying to salvage as much of the original spirit of the plan as possible.  Our entire family will be fully vaccinated by the date we have in mind and I would estimate that at least 50% of the guest list will be fully vaccinated with nearly everyone else having at least one dose.  About 15 of the guest list are children who will not be eligible for vaccination at that time.  I think that any adult who can NOT vaccinate would choose not to attend.

What are others in this situation doing?  The "right" thing to do is to not have an event.  I know that.  But, while I know that our family has been really lucky to have escaped any terrible disasters due to Covid, we have been hit hard and it has been a rough year for dd and our family.  Dd has lost so many things she was looking forward to and if there is any way to do this one thing, I am hell-bent on doing it.  

I am eyeing my yard.  We have the space to do much of what we planned outdoors.  My state's Covid guidelines are non-sensical to me and I suspect they will not change between now and the date we have in mind.  Outdoor residential gatherings are limited to 25.  Outdoor non-residential gatherings are 300.   I assume anything in our yard is considered "residential" even if we run the event as though it were "non-residential."  Given that almost everyone involved would be masked and vaccinated, at least partially, I don't think the limits matter from an ethical standpoint in this case.  But they would from a legal standpoint.  We live on a very public lot in a busy city neighborhood so there is no hiding this event.  I am struggling with the legal/ethical dilemma.  Meanwhile, the local school is still holding prom, graduation, and senior lock-in night.  I already have invitations to open houses that will be violating every aspect of our state guidelines.  Not that multiple wrongs make a right.....

Thoughts?  Ideas?  I'm wondering what others are doing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

First-congrats!!

My state is open to 100% indoor dining now, but who knows what it will be like when we do graduation. Dd#2 wants her graduation stuff here. So, we will do yard/garage with a pared down invite list & spread the event over several hours to spread the people out.

I'm not sure how many of the invited will be vaccinated because there is a lot of anti-vaccine sentiment in our area. And a lot of ignoring-of-covid-precautions. (I have close friends who are vocal anti-maskers.)

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MamaSprout said:

Would a park pavilion be an option?

That was our first thought but we were clearly too late to the game.  All are reserved with waiting lists.  I got on those lists but even if I lucked out, I probably wouldn't know until well after we would have to distribute invitations.  But I think my concerns are the same, except at a pavilion it would be within the state guidelines even though nothing at all would be different for actual exposure between actual people.  We have a large garage we would use the same as a pavilion.....not big enough for everyone in bad weather but big enough to shelter some things like food and musicians, if necessary.  Our yard is actually bigger than several of the shelters we inquired after.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

We have been thinking about this for months.  My middle is graduating this year.  When DD graduated, we did a lovely outdoor ceremony/party at my parent's house because they had a bigger yard.  I was thinking we would do something similar for DS, but at our house now that we have moved and have the room, but then Covid hit.

For a while I was thinking we wouldn't do anything at all except maybe an online "gathering" to congratulate him.  But then I started thinking that he is planning to join the military after graduation and this might be the last chance he has to see family before he leaves for boot camp.  Now we are thinking about possibly having a small gathering in our backyard.  It would by my parents, DH's parents, and my siblings with their families which is 16 people total including our family.  We would be masked and distanced.  I wouldn't serve food, but would provide to-go cupcakes to send home with guests.  We would meet up with DH's siblings another time since they are out of the area and we wouldn't want to ask them to travel here for the graduation.

Of the people we are thinking of inviting all would be fully vaccinated except our youngest son and my niece who aren't old enough.  I don't know if it will technically fit guidelines or not as they keep changing.  The county I live in is set to go back a phase next week if cases continue to rise like they are, but who knows where things will be by June.

DH suggested meeting at a park, but I think that would be more risky because most people around here are not being cautious at all.  We went in a store last weekend, for the first time in months and months, and less than half the people were masked even though it is required.  Numbers in our area are rising again and people around here don't seem to care.  So meeting somewhere in public, even outdoors, is not in my comfort zone right now.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a graduate this year too and he's also lost so many important events in the past year. We've decided to have an event in our yard. I'm thinking a short ceremony where I talk about our years of homeschooling which will probably only be attended by a few family members. After that, I'm planning an open house with a display table of things he's done during high school, and snacks and cupcakes. We won't invite too many people and I'm not sure if more than a few will come anyway. I told DS that we will invite people and, whether anyone else comes or not, the four of us who live here will celebrate on our own if we have to. I could fill pages with a list of the important things this kid has lost in the past year, and we will be having some kind of graduation ceremony and small party.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Our state restrictions are currently at 100 people outdoors. Not sure what they’ll be in June, but we’re planning a party at the park with 50-100 people. Food served by friends (whom I haven’t asked yet 😁), short ceremony, and outdoor games. I assume that those uncomfortable with gatherings won’t come, which is fine.

OP - do you know any farmers or country folks where you could gather in more privacy?

Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a park pavilion reserved and are doing an open house sort of thing. Several hours with people coming and going. Most will be vaccinated except kids. The big restriction is that shared food is not allowed. I am planning to individually box cupcakes. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, LAS in LA said:

Our state restrictions are currently at 100 people outdoors. Not sure what they’ll be in June, but we’re planning a party at the park with 50-100 people. Food served by friends (whom I haven’t asked yet 😁), short ceremony, and outdoor games. I assume that those uncomfortable with gatherings won’t come, which is fine.

OP - do you know any farmers or country folks where you could gather in more privacy?

How are you going to do food service?  That is another big question.  I am of the opinion that a food table is not likely to be a source of spread but of course, I could be wrong.

We did get a lead on an indoor option.  It is very large so our group would be well under capacity, even if every guest came at the same time.  I still don't like it.  I feel much more comfortable outdoors.  We have not eaten at an indoor restaurant (or outdoors, for that matter) at all since this all started, so I cannot imagine holding this event indoors.  The irony is that we would be within the guidelines to hold it indoors at this venue but not in my yard.  Guidelines can change and a few weeks ago I would have been optimistic that they might loosen between now and then, but out state is crashing and burning right now so I think we might even get more locked down.  Our local area has very low numbers, but again, that could change.  

There is also ease to consider.  Having it at this venue takes any weather worries (it can seriously snow on the day we plan to do this) and takes the pressure off to provide the food, figure out how to serve it, gather all the tables, chairs, etc.....  Even having it in my yard, while a much bigger job, is still easier than trying to do this elsewhere where bathroom access, food prep, and just moving everything back and forth, would add extra stress.

Given that the vaccine rate of our guest list is very high, I am not worried about spread at the event.  But I do want to be a good example in my community.  Even when I don't agree with the guidelines, I follow them, knowing my state leadership is doing the best they can.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, mom2scouts said:

I could fill pages with a list of the important things this kid has lost in the past year, and we will be having some kind of graduation ceremony and small party.

It's really sad.  Not tragic, but for sure sad.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, skimomma said:

How are you going to do food service?  That is another big question.  I am of the opinion that a food table is not likely to be a source of spread but of course, I could be wrong.

 

Eating with masks off (and talking at the same time), would likely be a larger risk than touching shared utensils, although that is not risk-free.

What about doing a "to-go" treat bag of some sort? Beverages could still be a problem, though.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Currently planning to have generous (possibly masked) friends 😁 serve the food. So no shared serving utensils. Or have pre-portioned food for people to pick up. Food isn’t a spreader, so this isn’t a big concern for me.

This thread is helping me think through some logistics! Thanks for starting it!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we will have an outdoor open house.  I am getting ideas for food from here: https://www.catchmyparty.com/blog/dont-miss-these-21-social-distancing-party-food-ideas

So, we will probably have some type of individually packaged food rather than have servers.  I don't know what our guest cap will be.  I think right now it is 25 people.  I am thinking it will be bigger in June.  Probably everyone except my youngest will be vaccinated by then.

I actually don't really want to do anything, but dd has been looking forward to this for a long time and already missed a much looked forward to 18th birthday party.  I think that deciding on the guest list will be the hardest thing.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

We have been trying to pare down the guest list.  We are not going to invite anyone that is not local, so that took a good chunk off.  That means no extended family but I think everyone will understand.  And we have knocked off anyone local that we feel we have any chance of not offending.  We are still at 150.....without any of dd's actual friends.  I would guess 100-ish have a good chance of attending.  Even with staggered attendance, I cannot see this being under the 25 person limit at any point.  Our closest friends will stay the entire time even if I ask them not to.  So, we have to choose.  Do this and own the fact that we are not following the state guidelines, cancel/postpone and hope the state does not continue to swirl down the Covid toilet, or take the indoor venue route.  Looking at the list, I can say that every single person over the age of 16 has had at least one dose of vaccine.  Given this is 6 weeks away, everyone should be fully vaxxed except for children.  Our area only recently got the J&J vaccine so I suspect most everyone has the more effective two-dose vaccine.  So, I feel the event will be safe, even if it does not follow the guidelines.  I just have to decide if I have the guts to float the rules in such a public space.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...