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High school's graduation moved to avoid Bike Week

MEREDITH — Barring any unforeseen developments, Inter-Lakes High School will hold its graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 22, a week after classes end, a move that will allow graduates and their families to avoid holding the ceremony during Bike Week.

Inter-Lakes Principal Patti Kennelly asked for the school board&#';s approval of the date the board&#';s meeting Tuesday night, also suggesting that setting the date now would give families time to plan for the event.

The date avoids Laconia Bike Week, she said, which will hold its 90th anniversary in 2013 during the week of June 8-16.

Kennelly also recommended that the event be held again at Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion in Gilford, and that it be held in the morning to avoid scheduling conflicts with the venue&#';s booked shows.

Inter-Lakes graduations have been held at Meadowbrook for the past five years. &#';Personally, I prefer Meadowbrook. I think our ceremonies have been very good there,&#'; Kennelly said Wednesday. &#';Unfortunately, they have tended to coincide with Bike Week.&#';

The board accepted the recommendation by consensus, said board member Jack Carty. &#';We&#';ve pretty much settled on it; it&#';s over and done with now,&#'; he said.

The school board has heard lots of negative discussion about this year&#';s graduation on June 15. Some people wanted to hold graduation in one of the district towns, Carty said. Inter-Lakes graduates students from Meredith, Center Harbor and Sandwich.

&#';Someone thought we should hold it at the Sandwich Fair grounds,&#'; he said.

Most of the complaints we about timing of the ceremony, he said, as the route between Meredith and Meadowbrook goes through Weirs Beach. During Bike Week, the Weirs Beach bridge is clogged with traffic, and is closed to non-bikers at the end of Bike Week.

This year, Laconia police allowed graduation traffic through the bridge, but some families were not happy, Carty said.

&#';There were a whole bunch of issues, which is why it&#';s good to get this done now,&#'; he said.

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Dan Seufert may be reached at dseufert@newstote.com.

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