Just yesterday, one of Wilton’s best kept secrets was revealed when the Class of 2016 learned the theme of their Post-Graduation Party (PGP) – “Passing the Torch.” 

The Class of 2016 received their hand-delivered invitations on Sunday, June 5, revealing the Olympic themed event and details about what is planned for the night of June 18.

For the past four weeks, the PGP Committee released teasers on Instagram, while seniors and the Wilton community were encouraged to follow along and try to guess the theme. Knowing just how important Instagram and social media are to this generation of kids, the organizing committee adopted it as a unique way to reveal clues in advance. The PGP 2016 Instagram feed can be found at @whspgp2016.

The theme references two great traditions, one global and one local. This summer, the 2016 Olympic games will be held in Rio de Janiero and the vibrant Brazilian culture is the perfect inspiration for hosting a party. In addition, Wilton’s PGP continues the longstanding rite of passage, when the graduating class hands over their “senior status” to the juniors – a figurative “passing of the torch.”

The Post Graduation Party PGP is a graduation night tradition in Wilton. This year’s event starts at 10:30 p.m. and ends at 5 a.m.. The goal is to provide a safe environment for graduates to celebrate their accomplishments of the last 13 years.

Invite Spread-to GMW

On the night of the party, Middlebrook School will be transformed into a festive Rio and Olympic-inspired gathering place. With just over a week to go, PGP 2016 parent volunteers are finalizing the plans to make this year’s PGP a night to remember.

The Class of 2016’s all-volunteer parent squad coordinating every detail is chaired by Callie Mellana and Jayne Sullivan, and for well over a year the dozens of committee members have been hard at work planning an unforgettable night.

This year, the PGP committee had some new restrictions to work with regarding the transformation of Middlebrook School. Due to more stringent fire codes, PGP volunteers are no longer allowed to build temporary floor-to-ceiling walls which, in past year, had helped create distinct theme-based spaces. All of the products used in the decorating process are now required to be fire retardant, which is cost prohibitive and results in a significant amount of waste. This year, the 2016 PGP committee was able to drastically reduce the amount of paper (using only 20% of the paper than had been used in previous years) by employing video and light techniques, and other means. Although these new regulations presented a challenge, the decorating committee has been able to creatively segregate spaces using imaginative and environmentally conscious methods.

What’s more, organizers say the various PGP subcommittees (invitations, food, casino, hospitality, etc.) each put their own spin on the theme and made the event “greener” by adopting the “quality over quantity” mentality in choosing resources and implementing their vision.

PGP has been a graduation night tradition in Wilton since 1988, and is organized under the umbrella of the Wilton Youth Council. Beginning in seventh grade for each graduating class, parents join forces to not only plan and implement a graduation night gift — a safe and fun venue in which to celebrate this important life milestone — but also to create opportunities for fun social gatherings for both parents and for students. Local businesses support the effort in important ways and parents contribute a tremendous amount of volunteer time making the events other reminders that it “takes a village” to raise Wilton’s kids.

The PGP is considered to be the last time the entire class will be all together as one group, and organizers say they aim to make the evening one graduates will never forget.

Wilton residents are invited to join in the tradition of the “PGP walk-through,” which open the decorated venue to the public on Saturday, June 18, from 2-4 p.m. and 6–8 p.m.. Please note, no children under the age of 18, pets, or cameras (including cell phone cameras) are allowed at the walk-through.

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