You are here
Home > Community > Big Cypress parade celebrates grads of all ages

Big Cypress parade celebrates grads of all ages

Seminole Fire Rescue leads a convoy for the Big Cypress Reservation’s parade to honor its 2022 graduates July 25. (Photo Beverly Bidney)

BIG CYPRESS — Big Cypress graduates paraded in a tram and other vehicles on the reservation’s Josie Billie Highway July 25 to celebrate their accomplishments.

At the end of the parade, on property slated for a new senior center and preschool, treats and a drive-in movie awaited them.

“This was supposed to be in June, but it was delayed,” said Big Cypress Councilwoman Mariann Billie, who gifted every graduate with a traditional beaded necklace. “We are happy to celebrate their accomplishment any time.”

Graduates included Carlise Bermudez, Lauren Doctor, Teyha Howard and Daleen Osceola from Ahfachkee, Canaan Jumper from American Heritage, Mya Cypress from Boca Beauty Academy and Loraine Jumper from the Big Cypress Preschool.

The grads hung out and enjoyed plenty of snacks, fruit, hamburgers, hot dogs, freshly popped popcorn and cold drinks before the “Bad Guys” movie began.

Ahfachkee graduate Carlise Bermudez, center, is happy to see school friends at the Big Cypress graduation parade and celebration July 25. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
Mya Cypress, left, chooses a beaded necklace from those given to every graduate by Big Cypress Councilwoman Mariann Billie. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
Sisters Loraine Jumper, left, a Big Cypress Preschool graduate, and Canaan Jumper, an American Heritage School graduate, enjoy the Big Cypress parade and celebration in their honor. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at