Birthday Parades Are the New Birthday Parties in the Age of Social Distancing

birthday parades

Just because we’re in the age of social distancing doesn’t mean birthdays have to be canceled entirely. In fact, kids are finding ways to celebrate…while maintaining a strict no-contact rule.

Introducing birthday parades, a thoughtful alternative to your typical party. The idea originated after one mom, Alexa Hendrickson, was forced to cancel her daughter’s birthday plans due to coronavirus restrictions.

“Birthdays are a big deal to Emily because she is always excited to get older but a little sad to leave the age she was,” Hendrickson told E! News. “As everything started shutting down, Emily got sad and just kept saying, ‘Let’s just cancel my birthday.’ We live in an amazing neighborhood where friends have become family. Two friends conspired to plan something special for my girl.”

After Hendrickson canceled the party, the neighborhood arranged a special surprise for the birthday girl, Emily: a parade of cars carrying birthday well-wishers. Friends and loved ones drove by her house in their cars, pausing to shout birthday wishes from a safe distance, while she stood out front and watched.

“Emily only knew about the parade about 20 minutes before it started,” Hendrickson explained. “When it was over, she looked at me a bit teary and said that her ‘heart was full’ and that it was ‘the best birthday ever.’”

Emily’s parade has since gone viral, prompting communities across the nation to copy the creative idea. Another mom, Angie, saw Emily’s story online and arranged a similar surprise for her daughter’s birthday. “She was so happy and said, ‘I can’t believe all these people I don’t know wanted me to have a great day,’” Angie said. 

We’re totally stealing this idea.

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Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...