The New Ulm Chamber of Commerce Hosts New Ulm's First Senior Cruise Due to COVID-19
June 3, 2020
You have just started your senior year. You know it will be the best yet because it is for you. Now you are just at the beginning of second semester and you get told school is canceled. Everything you have been looking forward to as a senior has been canceled. Graduation, Senior Breakfast, your own Graduation Party; canceled. This is what happened to the class of 2020. Everything for the seniors has been canceled. Everyone was devastated, but the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce decided to do something for the class of 2020.
“The idea actually started with Herb, the owner of Lamplighter. He liked the idea of having a parade down Minnesota Street to help celebrate the Senior Class of 2020,” Michael Looft said, President and CEO of the New Ulm Area Chamber of Commerce. This Senior Cruise was a very popular idea with the class of 2020 as the Cruise had over 100 cars in it. “I believe he [Herb] got the idea from the classic cars driving around town,” Looft said. There were many classic cars in the Cruise as well as newer models, but the idea was the same all around: celebrate the class of 2020.
The Lamplighter played a huge part in the Cruise. “Lamplighter pulled in many sponsors, donations to prizes and also led the cruise,” Looft said. “The chamber helped organize, register and help with logistics. The class of 2020 was grateful for this. Each senior who participated in the parade got a gift bag from the Chamber of Commerce that included a can of 1919 root beer and two free rounds of bowling (shoes included) at Concordia Lanes. Some seniors also got special door prizes from the Chamber of Commerce including Eagles merch, oil change coupons, gift cards to various stores around town, tire alignments, golf balls, and so much more.”
This event was huge for the New Ulm community. KNUJ live-streamed the whole cruise as well as covered it live over the radio station. Hundreds of people gathered along Minnesota Street from Third North Street to First South Street to see all of the vehicles in the Cruise.
The class of 2020 has not had very little normalcy during their senior year and this was the most “normal” this class has had. New Ulm Public High School Social Studies teacher Dave Janssen said this about the Cruise: “I could see this catching on and having the Cruise take place every year. It was a fun way for the seniors to be recognized in the community.”
“The entire community was really behind this cause. As you could tell from last night’s [May 28, 2020] attendance, the community was really behind the Class of 2020,” Janssen added. The class of 2020 thanks the city of New Ulm for everything they have done as this is the most recognition the class has gotten. It took the power of the community above all to show the class of 2020 what they mean to New Ulm.