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Unconventional times prompt unconventional birthday party
Caleb Looper enjoys the parade in honor of his 16th birthday on Thursday. - photo by Jennifer Woods
connie ditmore.jpg
Connie Ditmore waves to Caleb Looper while driving by his home for a 16th birthday parade on Thursday. - photo by Jennifer Woods

Special occasions and monumental moments are happening whether there’s a pandemic or not. We are in new territory on how to celebrate special events. 

However, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Caleb Looper turned 16 Thursday. His mother, Melissa Looper, wanted to have a party, but with social distancing suggestions, it wasn’t in the cards. A plan was hatched to make sure Caleb’s birthday would still be something he wouldn’t forget.

The night before, his mother and sisters made signs that were bright and bold. They couldn’t be missed from the street. The signs were loud and clear that there was a birthday celebration. 

Some signs encouraged motorists driving by to honk and they obliged all day long.

What Caleb couldn’t see from his front yard was a planned surprise birthday parade in his honor. 

Family, friends and church family from Calvary Baptist Church were congregating down the road in a parking lot with balloons, gifts and signs. 

A little before 5:30 p.m., Caleb was led to his front yard to a chair. Sirens could be heard up the street. There was a firetruck and a couple of county sheriff’s department vehicles and a city police car blaring their sirens with lights flashing. 

They were followed by a long line of vehicles honking away. Smiles, waves and happy birthday wishes were shared from the street with a thrilled Caleb enjoying every minute.

“I didn’t expect a parade in my front yard. I was really surprised by that. I didn’t expect so many people,” said Caleb. “I want to thank the fire department, county sheriff’s department, city police, family and friends for making this birthday memorable.”