It’s a tradition that’s been going on for the past 15 years at Viera High School — seniors painting their designated parking spaces.
But with the coronavirus pandemic affecting everyday life, Viera school officials weren’t sure if the tradition was going to continue this school year.
"We usually start selling parking passes in March or April but because of the coronavirus everything changed," said Jeff Draves, a Viera High school social studies teacher and senior class sponsor. "Now, because of social distancing, we’ve had to downplay the event. It’s always been more of a celebration for the kids. However, this year, no music, no cookout."
Despite COVID-19, the school sold 219 parking passes to students at $20 each in order to reserve a parking space. Students then paid an additional $20 to paint the concrete parking pylon.
Draves said the money raised will be used to pay for the senior prom, graduation and the Grad Bash at Universal Studios.
The tradition was held from 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 22.
Brianna Torres, 17, said she was happy she was able to paint her spot and use her favorite TV show "Supernatural" as her theme.
"I was concerned it wasn’t going to happen because of the coronavirus," she said. "But I’m glad we can. It’s fun."
Torres was accompanied by her parents, Enrique and Amy Torres. "I think it’s a cool thing they can do," Amy Torres said.
With all the disheartening news about the coronavirus, Caelin Roche, 17, said she wanted to decorate her pylon with a little sunshine. "I just want to brighten up my day when I come to school," she said.
Seventeen-year-old Katelyn Frisbee used her favorite TV show "Friends" as the theme of her parking space, while Jinna MacDonald, 17, decorated her spot with sunflowers. "I thought it would be pretty," she said.
One of the most interesting parking spaces was done by 17-year-old Ethan West. He painted one side with flags from two countries — the United States and Zambia, an East African country. The other side he painted a car racing down the road — his dream of becoming a rally racing car driver.
Ethan Maden, 17, and a member of the VHS football team, painted his uniform number — 54 — and his graduating year on his pylon. He also selected a parking spot closest to the football field.
"You only get to be a senior once," he said. "It’s a memory I will cherish forever."
Jack Breitfeller said his theme reflected his lifestyle — palm trees, surfing and the beach. "I think this is just awesome," he said. "I’ve always wanted to do this since I was a little kid."
Many students practiced social distancing and wore face masks while decorating their spaces.
"It’s a lot of work but it’s fun," said Brianna Todd, 17. "This was a chance for me to celebrate my senior year and I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity."