Josh Cardiff from Peachland just turned six, but he couldn’t have a party with his friends as everyone is staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But what he got instead was a birthday parade, with many from the community wishing him happy birthday, including paramedics and fire crews.
Josh said it was the best birthday ever.
“The parade was awesome and it was so cool,” he said.
“And the fire truck was awesome!”
Jenn Sterling and Lisa McMurray are two co-administrators from West Kelowna Party Parades. There are four others, but they take turns and share the work, they said.
According to Sterling, the idea started with Alida Steele, who wanted to organize parades for Rose Valley’s kids.
“I heard about what she was doing in Rose Valley and I wanted that for my kids too, so here we are,” she said.
She added it’s been about a week now and the birthday parades have grown immensely in popularity.
McMurray volunteered to be a co-administrator to help the group plan out routes and getting people together for the parades.
Sterling said they didn’t expect the idea to take off the way it has.
“I thought it was just going to be me and three other moms looking like a bunch of lunatics yelling at kids on the street. We still look like lunatics, but I guess we’re not alone.”
Both Sterling and McMurray said planning the parades and doing them is a lot of work, along with balancing their lives, but they said it’s worth it.
“There are just so many reasons it’s worth it, but they’re kids and it’s their birthday and they’re being told they can’t see their friends and their family… it’s hard on them,” Sterling said.
“Kids are saying it’s even better than a party, and that’s always awesome to hear. It’s not just the kids who love it. It’s everyone along the route, in their homes… the community really comes together,” McMurray said.
If you know others who are giving back and helping those in need during this critical time, send us an email and let us know!