Birthday parades replace parties as a new way to celebrate the day
This was not how Pierce Ketchum wanted to mark his 11th birthday.
Rather than inviting his friends over to celebrate, Pierce’s party had to be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
But for about an hour and a half on the morning of March 24, Pierce realized that his friends hadn’t forgotten him on his special day.
Fifteen or 16 of his classmates from First Presbyterian Day School (FPDS) were driven by his Manship Street home to wish him a happy birthday.
The birthday caravan was one of many that took place on the north side recently, and one of many that helped remove the sting of canceled birthday events as a result of COVID-19.
On the same day, parents and children came together to give Caroline McPhillips her very own birthday trailer. Another birthday caravan took place earlier that week.
In both cases, friends painted signs and hung them outside their
parents’ cars. In some cases, parents honked their horns and children threw gifts and balloons out of their windows.
“He was talking to his grandmother earlier and he brightened up talking about it,” said Christy Ketchum, Pierce’s mother.
Ketchum said his son, like most Northside students, hadn’t seen his friends for over three weeks and was happy to see them for even a moment as they walked past at their home.
Margaret McPhillips organized the caravan for her daughter, a fourth grader, on the same day the parents were supposed to pick up the FPDS working papers.
Caroline and a friend were to organize a roller skating party last week.
Not wanting his daughter to miss anything, McPhillips jumped into action. She got the idea from a friend who did the same earlier this week.
“I messaged last night our mothers’ message group for the girls in the class, and they came over all morning,” McPhillips said. “Maybe a dozen children have passed by.”
“It was a good way for her to see her friends. She loved it.