Stars were shining at Glen Ridge High School’s Project Graduation last night. Although the stars were hardly visible in the foggy, overcast night sky, each and every graduate shone with happiness and pride on the night of their high school graduation.
While the graduates figuratively shone, the O’Brien’s house literally did. This year’s Project Graduation theme, chosen by the students of the class of 2011, was Disney, and the O’Brien’s home truly looked like Glen Ridge’s own Disneyworld. The front of the house was made to look like Cinderella’s castle, complete with turrets and flags. On the front lawn stood the giant face of a cardboard Mickey Mouse, pointing to the lawn’s other focal point: a gigantic old-fashioned 8 mm camera. Where the camera read “Glen Ridge High School,” providing a perfect spot for the new graduates to take photos on this memorable night.
As the graduates walked into the backyard, they were greeted with many more Disney characters and images. Snow White’s seven Dwarfs lined the driveway, Peter Pan dueled Captain Hook on a pirate ship above the yard’s pond, a jungle scene from the Jungle Book hung off of the garage, Andy’s Toy Story bedroom stood against one side of the yard, and more. Amongst these favorite Disney characters were tents – one filled with tables, one with raffle items, another with fun and games, from blackjack to Twister. The entire yard was lined with a chain of white lights, which created a festive and fun atmosphere.
A Disney-themed Project Graduation ended up being a great theme – not only was it fun for the community, but it also reminded the graduates of their childhood – an era which their graduation marks the end of. The Disney theme created a great juxtaposition of the class of 2011’s past and present.
Project Graduation is a tradition throughout the U.S. in which class parents organize a safe, fun, alcohol and drug-free all-night celebration on graduation night. Project Graduation 2011 was a huge success! The celebration began to get crowded with guests (family, friends, and community members) around 9 pm. Glen Ridge High School graduates joined the festivities around 11 pm, following a celebratory dinner/dance at the Glen Ridge Country Club.
(Photos by Rachel Kaplan)