POMPEY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — An off-duty reporter, college graduate and supposed-to-be bride walk into a county park. It’s not the beginning of a joke, it’s exactly what happened Saturday at Pratt’s Falls.

Onondaga County’s parks have remained opened throughout the coronavirus pandemic, primarily as a way for people to get outside and maintain their mental health.

Saturday’s nice weather made for a perfect day to put on a mask, social distance and take in the beautiful scenery of a park.

Off-duty, NewsChannel 9’s Andrew Donovan went to Pratt’s Falls Park in Pompey.

That’s where he noticed a family taking photos of a woman in a blue graduation cap.

That woman was 21-year-old Anna Tschopp from Liverpool, who was supposed to be at her commencement ceremony at the University of Buffalo that very moment.

That ceremony and most of her final semester were both cancelled. Instead, her family celebrated the day walking the trails and taking photos at Pratt’s Falls Park.

Tschopp told NewsChannel 9, “It was a little sad. I was excited to walk the stage.”

Knowing she’ll walk after graduation school gives her some peace of mind.

“It’s fun to walk around around in my cap and everybody’s saying congratulations. It’s special,” Tschopp said.

Tschopp, who graduated from Cicero-North Syracuse High School, earned her Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology and Early Childhood Studies, summa cum laude.

Tschopp also dyed her hair blue, to honor the University of Buffalo’s school colors.

After the Tschopp Family moved on from the picture-perfect falls overlook, waiting for their own picture were Gabbie Larson and Austin Lotts from the Town of Onondaga.

Larson and Lotts were supposed to be at Pratt’s Falls at that moment, but instead of walking the trails with their immediate family, they were supposed to be surrounded by more guests at their wedding.

The couple postponed their wedding to the exact same place and date in 2021, but instead of wasting the beautiful weather at the memorable location, they made the casual visit for some photos.

Larson even wore a white dress, which she pointed out isn’t her actual wedding dress, since she wanted to wear it along the muddy trails and into the water for some pictures.


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For more local news, follow Andrew Donovan on Twitter @AndrewDonovan