When it became apparent that they would have to cancel their son Robert’s 6th birthday party, Elizabeth and Kevin Merchant went to plan ‘B’. After hearing of a friend’s grandfather turning 92 and his community doing a driveby birthday parade at his home, Elizabeth thought, maybe that will work here.
“I put the word out on social media, and everyone was all in” said Elizabeth by phone on Saturday. “Some friends came from as far away as Upton, it was great.”
One of the Merchants’ friends also happens to be Auburn Police Officer, Jon O’Brien, who led a procession of about two dozen cars – many decorated with signs – from Auburn Town Hall, down South St., up South Ter., and over past Robert’s home on Winter St.
The Merchants also kept the event a surprise from Robert, which made it all the more fun.
“He was definitely surprised when he got outside” said Elizabeth. “We told him a friend was going to dive by to wish him a happy birthday, then when he heard the [police] siren, he was like whoa.”
Fortunately the rain held off for the 1:30pm parade, and while it lasted only about fifteen minutes, the effect went well beyond Robert’s birthday party. Folks weary from the now 2 week long coronavirus restrictions watched the parade from their homes and yards, and some vehicles even pulled to the side of the road to watch as the procession made its way around the block – twice.
Said Elizabeth, “This is kind of a silver lining. If times were normal right now, something like this would never have happened. but because of these weird times, we got to have this cool event happen.
We can trust the Robert and his friends and neighbors will agree. Happy 6th Robert!