Pasadena Academy students get boxed up for arrival at graduation

Diane Crocker
Published on July 3, 2014

Arriving at your high school graduation in a limo or an antique car may have been a big thing at one time, but it seems like the students at Pasadena Academy have taken making an entrance a step higher.

Neither Alyssa Vincent or Paige Downton quite know how the tradition started, but from all reports they’ve taken the prize — bragging rights — to having the best arrival this year.

The girls, friends since kindergarten, arrived for their graduation last Thursday on a trailer in two lifesize Barbie boxes. Pictures of the two in the boxes have been making the rounds on Facebook and Twitter over the past few days.

“Every year everyone usually tries to figure out some unique way to go to grad,” said Downton on Wednesday morning. “Me and Alyssa wanted something really (memorable) and really different to do.”

Both girls had seen past arrivals which included limos and one year a girl in wheelbarrow being pushed by her date. Besides their Barbie boxes this year’s arrivals also included a huge RV, tractors, scooters and a swingset on a tractor.

“I guess where it’s such a small town, it’s like a try to outdo each other kind of thing. See who has the better ride,” said Vincent.

Vincent and Downton hadn’t actually planned on making such a grand entrance.

“It was two weeks before grad and we both didn’t have a ride and we weren’t planning on going together at all. But we were looking online for some ideas for each other and we came across the Barbie doll idea,” said Vincent.

Both were game to give it a try, but had to do it together and so the planning began.

“It was just really different and hadn’t been done yet,” said Downton. “We were just looking into being the most unique.”

Vincent texted her dad, Don Vincent, about the idea and the next day when she went to see him discovered that he and her grandfather, Frank Vincent, had the two boxes built.

“We wouldn’t have been able to do it without them,” she said giving credit to her carpenters. “All me and Paige did was to paint them and make sure all the details were good.”

The boxes were put together using a wood frame with the bottom, top and back made of plywood. The two sides were made of mill paper and there was plastic on the front. The front also opened for the girls to get in and out of the boxes.

On grad night Vincent’s uncle, Bill Sheaves, helped out by driving the girls to the school. Their dates rode along in his truck.

Vincent said the distance from her uncle’s house to the school wasn’t that much, but it seemed to take a long time to get there.

Still the ride was lots of fun.

“It was cool,” said Vincent of the experience.

And Downton’s reply when asked if she felt like a Barbie doll while in the box was: “a little bit.”

She also said a lot of people liked it and judging by the reaction both think they’ve raised the bar on unique arrivals.

As for what’s next for the 18-year-old grads, Vincent will be attending Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland in the fall and plans to complete a bachelor of science degree with a major in psychology and Downton has applied to Dalhousie University to study costume design.