Kamloops kids can still score a birthday parade, despite nixed parties in the Okanagan - InfoNews

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Kamloops kids can still score a birthday parade, despite nixed parties in the Okanagan

The West Kelowna Party Parades has now become West Kelowna Virtual Birthday Parties.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK / West Kelowna Party Parades
April 08, 2020 - 4:32 PM

A Kamloops group dedicated to party parades plans to carry on regardless of what other groups are doing, in respect to the Prime Minister’s orders on staying indoors.

Last month,  West Kelowna and Kelowna party parades were started so that isolated kids could still receive well-wishes on their birthday. Last week, the group’s administrator Jenn Stirling changed the direction of the group, cancelling the parades and now going by the name West Kelowna Virtual Birthday Parties. Kelowna did the same.

Kids in Kamloops, however, still have a shot at birthday parades, for now.

Tomorrow, Kamloops mom Tarra Dyment is going to surprise her daughter Evangeline with a parade for her sixth birthday.

“This year was going to be her big one. She’s in Kindergarten now so we were going to invite the whole class, it was going to be unicorn themed so she was all excited,” Dyment says. “It kind of sucks to be going through all of this at the same time, but I want to make it as fun as I can for her.”

Dyment is friends with a woman who participated in the West Kelowna parades and was told some of the parades brought in more than 100 cars. Dyment believes party parades can adhere to social distancing rules but says the size of the West Kelowna events might have led to the issue.

“A problem was people getting out of their vehicles when they would meet up and planning and it was a bit of an issue. The more people you get involved… the harder it is to control,” Dyment says.

Dyment believes the activity can be beneficial both for the children on the receiving end, as well as the well-wishers.

“Part of it is mental health, being able to still go drive, and having something to celebrate,” Dyment says. “I think it’s good mental health-wise. It’s fun to have a purpose for someone else... If you can respect social distancing, I think it’s still OK, ” Dyment says.

Dyment’s beliefs are mirrored by the Angie Cupello, who started the Kamloops Birthday Party Parades Facebook page. She says she has told group members strict rules so that there is no contact closer than two metres.

“I’ve posted on the group that everybody has to stay in their vehicles, nobody is to be getting out... Most people are very good about it, about keeping their distance. I haven’t heard of anybody who hasn’t kept their distance,” Cupello says.

Angie says despite Justin Trudeau’s plea for Canadians to stay at home, she will continue planning these parties until specifically ordered to do otherwise. If that happens, she says she’ll consider a virtual option.

“We’re still allowed to do it as long as everyone is staying in their vehicles, and no one is getting out, high five-ing or anything like that,” Cupello says. “I think the group would be pretty receptive though if there was an order to change it… We’d find a way to be able to celebrate with everybody on their birthday, if we had to do it on Zoom, we could do it on Zoom.”

“Everybody needs to be able to celebrate.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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