Graduates of the Class of 2020 celebrate with a June 20 car parade on Buford Highway.

The Buford Highway community’s Class of 2020 was celebrated in a June 20 car parade and party at the Northeast Plaza shopping center in Brookhaven.

Holding signs of congratulations are, from left, Araceli Barrientos with children Axel and Lesly; and Guadalupe Martinez and children Israel and Robert.

Organized by the community organization Los Vecinos de Buford Highway, the event drew graduates and their families from Chamblee, Cross Keys, Dunwoody and Lakeside high schools.

Cross Keys High School graduates Maria Pineda and Jonathon Lopez share a smile.

About 40 vehicles joined in the parade, which drove on Buford Highway to Clairmont Road and returned to the shopping center.

Gabriela Alzaqa, Chamblee High School 2020 graduate and rising freshman at Cornell University, attends the event. Gabriela is the daughter of parade organizer Juana Alzaqa.

“This is a great event to celebrate our community and its high school graduates,” one of the organizers, Jonathan Peraza Campos, told the crowd. “Let’s make this an annual event!”

The cars head out from Northeast Plaza.

Car parades have become a popular way to celebrate graduates during the coronavirus pandemic, as traditional celebrations have become difficult or impossible due to safety precautions.

Graduates and families enjoy cake at the end of the event.

Photos by Phil Mosier.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.