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Madison Southern High School seniors moments before they walk across the stage at their commencement last year.

With summer in sight, families are preparing to host friends and loved ones clamoring to see their favorite youths walk across the graduation stage and into the sunset. However, just as one needs tickets to see their favorite band or the newest movie, they also need tickets for Madison Central and Madison Southern graduations, slated for the end of May at Eastern Kentucky University’s Alumni Coliseum.

According to Erin Stewart, community education director for Madison County Schools, seniors from both the county's public high schools will receive tickets prior to graduation, likely during the events’ rehearsals.

Seniors from Madison Central High School will receive 12 tickets while Madison Southern High School seniors will have 18 tickets to disperse among family and friends. Tickets will not be required for babies under two years of age who will sit in an adult's lap.

This is the second year tickets are required for Madison County Schools’ graduations.

“Alumni can get really full really fast. Central can have as many as 425 to 450 graduates…that gets to be a lot of students and family members, sometimes people have had to stand in the aisle,” said Stewart, noting safety concerns prompted EKU officials to require ticketing to graduations beginning last year.

Stewart said the fire marshal indicated to Madison County Schools officials that Alumni Coliseum has been at or over capacity during graduation ceremonies and that something had to be done for safety sake.

During an interview with The Register in 2017, Stewart said the growth of Madison County and the leap in enrollment numbers within the school system led to larger graduation turnouts.

She said it's a good problem to have as there are more students graduating each year.

Ticket allotments, school officials indicated, are based off the number of seniors at each high school. Central has more students; therefore, fewer tickets can be dispersed.

Other nearby school systems, Stewart said, also require tickets for graduations.

Seniors are encouraged to let school officials know if their entire ticket allotment will not be used, so that they can be dispersed to other families.

The district attempts to make sure each graduate receives as many tickets as possible.

Ticketing received a bit of resistance from families last year, however, reaction this year has been mostly positive as many have had more time to discuss tickets with loved ones, Stewart said.

Soon, Stewart said, additional graduation information will be available at, as well as each high school’s website.

Madison Southern High School’s Graduation will be held Friday, May 25, at 7 p.m. at Alumni Coliseum.

Madison Central High School’s graduation, also at Alumni Coliseum, will be held Saturday, May 26, at 11 a.m.

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Model Laboratory School students will graduate Friday, May 25, at 7 p.m. at the EKU Black Box Theatre. No tickets are required.

Berea Community School’s graduation will be held Friday, June 1, at 7 p.m. in the Seabury Center. No tickets required.

Reach Critley King at 624-6623; follow her on Twitter @critleyking.

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