West Kelowna Party Parades offers birthday solution for isolated kids - InfoNews

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West Kelowna Party Parades offers birthday solution for isolated kids

Each birthday party parade has a convoy of about 20 to 40 cars, with many of them decorated.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK / West Kelowna Party Parades
March 25, 2020 - 1:30 PM

There’s a new trend for celebrating birthdays, and it’s making birthdays and events special for kids in West Kelowna isolated because of COVID-19.

Alida Steele started the West Kelowna Party Parade Facebook group three days ago, and now more than 500 members are taking part in the nearly daily parades.

“We never expected it to get to this size,” Steele says. “When all of this is over, to know we all came together during this time is really special, especially for these kids… we love how much it’s catching on.”

Convoys of 20 to 40 vehicles meet up and drive past a birthday child, waving signs, balloons, shouting and using noise makers to bring a party feel to their front lawn. Tomorrow morning, Steele and her family will be on the receiving side of the well-wishing.

“I have three kids, and my daughter’s (birthday) is tomorrow,” Steele says. “That’s kind of why I started it to be honest, because her birthday is tomorrow.”

Steele says there are 50 requests for parades through until the end of April and she expects that number to continue growing.

She says people from neighbouring communities have reached out, but Steele hopes that they’ll take on organizing the parades locally.

 

 

 

 

Talk about EXCITEMENT! ???? ?? Posted by Sarah Dhooge on Monday, March 23, 2020

 

Another administrator of the West Kelowna Party Parade group, Tara Holliday, says there are people in Penticton and Kelowna who are considering making a group.

Holliday says the parents who have had to cancel their kid’s parties have found this to be a great solution to the current social-distance issue.

“The moms and grandparents say that their kids are smiling from ear to ear and they're going to remember this forever,” Holliday says. “One of the kid’s mom mentioned that they had happy tears and didn't even know they could cry because they're happy.”

Holliday says the parades have connected the community and offered parents and caregivers something to look forward to doing with their kids at a safe distance.

“You can feel the energy from all the vehicles, it’s like a huge party,” Holliday says. “I’m pretty sure every person that’s driving is holding back tears while everyone else is screaming with joy... you get happy goosebumps from it.”

Both Holliday and Steele hope that the idea takes off in more communities across the region. Check out their own Facebook page to see how they run it.


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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