More than 300 East Ascension High School seniors donned costumes and colorful flotation devices for the annual Pond Jump Tuesday morning.

It took less than 30 minutes for the seniors to swim the length of the pond located across the street from the high school.

The annual tradition calls for seniors to take the plunge after completing their final exams. More than 400 relatives and friends lined the banks of the pond for the event.

The pond jump tradition apparently arose when a few senior boys jumped in the pond on then-Ascension Parish Hospital grounds. It was a spontaneous, unorganized ritual until the early 1970s, most people believe, when it was outlawed over liability concerns because the pond was on private property. So, the jump was just legend through most of the 1970s and 1980s. In the mid-1990s, Gonzales Chief of Police Bill Landry teamed with school officials to add safety measures.

East Ascension’s graduation ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. on May 18 at Spartan Field in Gonzales.