Graduates file into their commencement ceremony. (Progress file)

Graduates file into their commencement ceremony. (Progress file)

Dry grad offers safe but fun atmosphere for Chilliwack graduates

Casino, games, dancing all planned for June 26 event

The Chilliwack Community Dry Grad Event is celebrating their 29th year on June 26.

This popular annual event is for graduating students from all three senior high schools (Chilliwack, Sardis and GW Graham) after they have attended their formal dinner and dance. And for students who have dates from outside the school district, it’s the perfect location for celebrating.

A policy has changed in the Chilliwack School District to not allow guests from out of the district to school-sponsored events, including graduation dinners. Dry Grad is not school-sponsored, but begins as the grad dinners are ending on June 26.

Since it’s a new policy, Dry Grad chairperson Eleanor Meldrum wants all students to know they are allowed to bring someone who graduated last year, or a friend from another district to celebrate at the party.

Doors open at 11 a.m. and the event goes until 5 a.m., at the Landing Sports Centre on Spadina Avenue. There is no entry or re-entry allowed after 1:30 p.m.

Grads and their guests are given food all evening, along with a huge assortment of entertainment. They have a DJ and dancing, carricature artists, henna tattooing and face painting, and a variety of games. Those include the mechanical bull, a bungee run, a velcro wall, obstacle course, virtual reality golf, and more.

Guests are even given play money for the casino tables, where they can try their hand at Texas Holdem, blackjack or roulette. This play money is also used to purchase prizes all evening or for entering draws to win amazing prizes.

The longer they stay at the event, the more likely they are to win large prizes. Meldrum says the entire event wouldn’t be possible without the businesses that support and sponsor Dry Grad, or the huge team of parent and community volunteers.

But they can always use more help. Specifically, they are looking for help with set up on June 25 or take down on June 26 (starting at 5 a.m.)

Graduating students can purchase their tickets at their school office until June 17. After that they are available at the door, but presales are encouraged to avoid line-ups.

Meldrum says the focus is on fun, and as it is a strictly dry, alcohol and drug free event, they work closely with the Chilliwack RCMP on site, and a security team.

“This is a drug and alcohol free event, where grads can celebrate their accomplishments and enjoy a fun, safe evening,” she says. “Several grads meet friends from years past.”

The Dry Grad event takes months to prepare, and the task is made easier by business, community groups, volunteers and their own executive team.

“Without additional donations of food and prizes for the grads to win, we would not be able to offer such this memorable evening,” Meldrum adds. “We all want the grads to have a great memory of their graduation and for them to be safe.”

If you can volunteer, want to help for next year, or are a business looking to support the Chilliwack Community Dry Grad, email


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