Thursday afternoon’s menacing clouds kept clear of the hundreds of Citrus High Hurricanes graduating curbside in front of their school.

Many of the 314 graduates from 2020 arrived at the Inverness campus, packed into family vehicles with loved ones to celebrate their end of high school in a drive-thru ceremony shared over the radio and internet. 

A motorcade of cars and trucks alongside rented limos and a double-decker bus filled Stadium Road with black-and-gold decorations, balloons and signs with photos and congratulatory messages. 

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At a steady pace, the procession of vehicles followed a pair of Citrus County Sheriff’s Office motorcycles and rode underneath a U.S. flag draped by a Citrus County Fire Rescue engine tower on their way to the main stage.

Graduates got out at a covered a carport. Their caps and gowns still shimmered in the overcast sky as they turned for quick photos from family and friends driving alongside them. 

School staff did their best to fix tassels, medals and ribbons around the necks of their seniors while they handed out diploma covers.

As their names were called, graduates walked up to Principal Laura Mason and Superintendent of Schools Sandra “Sam” Himmel to pose in front of their motorist photographers, who leaned out of car windows and truck beds to get their perfect shot.

Cheers, cowbells, confetti poppers and horns broke through the sounds of car engines while the graduating Hurricanes picked up their diploma and rode down West Highland Boulevard, leaving behind their alma mater for new adventures on the horizon.

Contact Chronicle reporter Buster Thompson at 352-564-2916 or