CUSHING, Texas (KTRE) - With social distancing guidelines in place, you might wonder how anyone can still have a birthday party. However, one East Texas girl was still able to have her party from a distance.
Chloe Jones turned 14 years old Saturday. To celebrate, Jennifer Harrell, her aunt, planned a birthday parade of cars containing her closest friends and family. You could hear the car horns honking, cowbells ringing and see balloons flying freely almost a mile down the road leading to Chloe’s house.
“I had no idea we were going to have this many people. She had teachers here, her basketball coach was here, my friends from work even came by,” Harrell said.
Harrel said this idea of a parade came about because they thought it would be important to practice social distancing and still be able to celebrate her birthday.
“We knew there wasn’t going to be any contact, so when I started planning that I just wanted to make sure I had all my bases covered,” Harrell said.
As people drove by, the sign “Happy 14th Birthday Chloe” was on display for everyone to see. The sign was created by Karrissa Theret, the owner of Sign Gypsie Nacogdoches-Lufkin.
“Not only is it affecting the person getting the sign, but other people drive by. Random people can drive by and see it and just have a smile on their face,” Theret said. “Seeing the sign is spreading joy to people and letting people still have some sort of normalcy during this time."
Although people worldwide have been postponing their birthday celebrations due to COVID-19, Theret says they are working completely within the rules of social distancing.
“It's just an easy way to continue the celebration without having to break the rules right now,” Theret added.
“We’re just really excited that we could do something for her,” Harrell said.
Bright-eyed and smiling broadly, Chloe expressed her gratitude.
“It’s one of my best birthdays for sure. It’s a lot of fun being out here and being able to see everyone come out and just say happy birthday to me,” Jones said.
Theret explained that a parade of cars is a good way to celebrate with family and friends because you’re able to see it unfold in such a different way, while keeping everybody safe.