South Hadley community hosts surprise birthday parade for 7-year-old girl during COVID-19

Hampden County

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – Birthday’s don’t stop during a pandemic. A group of people gathered to celebrate a South Hadley girl’s seventh birthday in a unique and social distance friendly way. After her original birthday party was canceled due to coronavirus concerns.

22News Reporter Katrina Kincade: “What is today?”

Brynna Henry: “My birthday.”

K.K.: “How does it feel to be seven?”

Brynna: “Good.”

Brynna Henry, or “BB” as those who know her call her, was supposed to have a huge birthday party at the Holyoke Merry Go Round. But due to the coronavirus social gathering restrictions and social distancing, it was canceled.

“Being seven, it’s very disappointing when your birthday party gets canceled. It’s hard for kids to really understand what’s going on right now,” Brynna’s Aunt, Amy Jamrog told 22News.

So instead, her aunt gathered BB’s family and friends to host a surprise birthday parade for her.

“We love BB. And we love her family. In this time, it’s so important for us to get together. I know that six feet may separate us, but the love is strong,” said South Hadley resident, Molly Lepage.

More than 20 cars filled with children of all ages, their families, and even a couple dogs gathered in the parking lot at Pioneer Valley Performing Arts school Sunday.

“This is incredible the whole community, her whole class, family, friends. It really, it shows the community spirit,” Jamrog said when she saw all the people who showed up.

Cars were elaborately decorated with balloons and signs. Then they made their way to BB for a surprise of a lifetime. BB’s face was pure shock as the cars honked down her street. She had no clue.

“We just pulled off the best birthday party ever. It was amazing,” BB’s mom, Nicki Henry expressed.

Cars blared BB’s favorite songs and honked down the street while doing loops around the block. Her friends were leaning out the windows, sunroofs, cheering while wishing her a happy birthday, from afar.

“She is just a great girl and so fun and being with her is really awesome. We all love her,” South Hadley resident, Bridgette Lepage told 22News.

BB still got all of her gifts, while everyone made sure they were practicing social distancing. Parade participants were getting out of their cars, placing the gift on the street and then getting back in so that BB’s mom could pick up the gift without making contact.

“I think at a time where everyone is kind of feeling a certain way about staying in and not being close to their people, this was an amazing opportunity to get people out of their homes, keeping social distance, but yet bringing the community of people together,” BB’s mom, Nicki told 22News.

Together for a birthday, BB will never forget.

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