Fairfield Warde HS holds tailgate graduation ceremony at Fairfield beach

Hundreds of graduates and their tailgating families from Fairfield Warde High School celebrated their commencement ceremony at Jennings Beach in Fairfield Tuesday night.
Although a tailgate commencement ceremony started as a response to the pandemic, people said it was more fun than a traditional graduation ceremony.
"My brother is a little jealous 'cause he said it’s not as great as his," said graduate Dontrell Carter.
Firefighters arrived at the beach early and promptly hoisted the American flag into the clear blue sky as a tribute to the class of 2021.
Demonstrating their pride in their kids, the parade of parents drove cars decked out with decorations and promptly set up camp for the big night.
"It’s been like a roller coaster, but here we are," said Lina Corchado, mother of a graduate.
The format resembles a drive-in theater.
"This is my second year as a principal at Fairfield Warde High School, this is all I have known for graduation," said head principal Paul Cavanna.
Administrators and graduates said after going though virtual learning and a mix of in-person and virtual learning throughout the pandemic they were overjoyed to have a celebration at the beach.
"I am feeling so excited tonight. I am very excited to graduate," Carter said.
Cavanna said it is just too soon to think about whether they might stick with the tailgate graduation ceremony format next year or return to something traditional.
On Wednesday, Fairfield Ludlow High School will also hold its commencement ceremony at Jennings Beach.