Put on your gowns. Get in line. Cue Pomp and Circumstance .
Tampa Bay's high school graduation season begins in earnest today, with ceremonies for four schools planned at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Lakewood High will go first at 8:30 a.m., followed by Osceola Fundamental High at 11:30 a.m., Seminole High at 2:30 p.m. and Countryside High at 5:30 p.m.
Nearly 1,500 students will graduate from those schools today, but that's only the beginning.
Pinellas County graduations continue into early next week at Tropicana Field and a handful of other locations.
Starting Thursday, the Hillsborough County school system — the nation's eighth-largest — begins the week-long process of staging 36 graduations, all but a few of them at the Florida State Fairgrounds.
Next comes neighboring Pasco County, where students will walk in ceremonies spanning May 24 to 28, most of them at the University of South Florida's Sun Dome.
Hernando County public schools start their graduations that weekend as well, with some ceremonies extending into early June.
Private schools throughout the region are on a similar schedule. Some graduations will take place as early as this week with others occurring as late as early June.