Missouri family throws parade for 13-year-old after coronavirus cancels birthday

  • Picture of car with happy birthday sign
  • Picture of girl smiling
  • Picture of girl looking at birthday parade
  • Picture of car with happy birthday sign

LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. (WDAF) – After a 13-year-old’s birthday plans were crushed due to fears of spreading the coronavirus, one Missouri family got creative and celebrated anyway while maintaining social distancing.

Violet turned 13 on Saturday. “She was going to have a slumber party in a couple of weeks with some girlfriends and cousins, and then we always do a big family party,” says Haley Newcomer, Violet’s mom.

Newcomer says that, even though Violet understands all the changes surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, she was still bummed that the celebration were canceled.

Then Violet’s grandmother had the idea to visit anyway.

“She was like, ‘Hey, we’re going to drive out!'” Newcomer says.

She thought it would just be her mom surprising Violet, but when they arrived, her sisters and their whole families were there, too. She says her family drove an hour, round trip, to make Violet’s day.

“I think she was just on cloud nine,” Newcomer says. “She was grinning and so glad to see her cousins.”

Pictures show three vans decked out in signs and streamers. The family sang happy birthday out of the van windows, and someone even banged on a pot in between stanzas. The effect of the racket was captured in Violet’s smile.

“That just makes you feel so special that people make an hour round trip to see you,” Newcomer says.


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