Social Distancing Car Parade
April 16, 2020
Last Saturday, members of the Belleville Fire Department, Police Department, and Emergency Medical Service, and 53 vehicles with teachers and staff of the School District of Belleville, drove around neighborhoods with sirens and lights flashing to the delight of social distancing families.
Parents and kids held signs and cheered, some wanted candy, some wanted wine. Teachers and staff followed the extended parade route, smiling all the way as they saw many of their students and families.
Associate Elementary School Principal Kelsey Schmit said that the car parade made her heart incredibly happy.
"Seeing staff, students, and families was priceless," said Schmit. "Thanks to those who participated or waited for us to drive by."
The parade was organized by Sarah Novotny, Jannan Kosak, and Schmit.
"A few weeks ago, the Elementary School staff wanted to have a parade but the safer-at-home order was put into effect so we thought we should hold off," said Schmit. "As Easter approached, we thought it might work."
Novotny contacted the members of the EMS and Fire Department and Kosak contacted the school district and figured out the route. Schmit informed school district staff and families.
Novotny drove one of the ambulances with the Easter Bunny in the passenger seat and Schmit drove her van with the Belleville Wildcat mascot in the back.
"The teachers and staff were extremely excited for this event," said Schmit. "We wanted to connect with students and show our love, support, and express how much we miss them."
Middle School and High School Principal Nate Perry said that Saturday's car parade is what the school district staff and the community needed.
"That was clear from the number of cars in the parade and from the number of students, parents, and community members who came out to wave and express gratitude along the route."
Perry added that during a time when people around the state and country are feeling isolated, Kelsey Schmit, Jannan Kosak, and the Belleville EMS, Fire, and Police Departments truly made a much-needed connection for all.
"This is the type of event that makes Belleville a very special place," said Perry, who drove a red Volkswagen Beetle through the parade route with Associate Principal Heather Schmitz in the passenger seat.
Schmit added, "Students are already asking when we can have another car parade."
Thank you, members of the Belleville Police Department, Fire Department and EMS, and the teachers and staff of the School District of Belleville. It was a GREAT day!
More photos from the parade are available in the Photo Gallery at https://www.postmessengerrecorder.com/photos.