Life has been flipped upside-down for all of us during the COVID-19 quarantine. Businesses are closing and the government is issuing stimulus packages as the unemployment rate begins to skyrocket. While many people share the fear of an unpredictable future, the only way to combat the virus is to remain in isolation to help flatten the curve.
The mandate for us to live in solitude has crumbled many businesses, the entertainment industry, professional sports associations, and events – big and small – all the way down to children’s birthday parties.
Drive-by Birthday Parties Help with Social Distancing
A new phenomenon suitable for all ages has swept the globe as we have been secluded from our friends and loved ones for the past few weeks. Parents especially are doing everything they can to provide their children some normalcy – or at the very least, help them open presents, eat cake and ice cream – and have the birthday party they have been looking forward to all year.
Well, moms and dads across the United States have been throwing a unique style of party for their children to help practice social distancing – deeming the “Drive-by” or “Drive-thru” birthday party.
What Is A Drive-by Birthday Party?
Instead of the traditional Spider-Man or Barbie decorated tables and streamers, this reverse-parade style party involves decorating your house and front lawn to announce to the world that it is someone’s birthday! This allows for not only friends and family to celebrate with you, but also your neighbors and any car that passes by your house. The idea is that passing vehicles will receive the message from your decorated yard and honk their horns in order to give their birthday wishes. Others may walk by or drop off presents while remaining at a safe distance. If only they would all bring presents!
How to Throw a Drive-by Birthday Party
Although it isn’t quite the same as a normal children’s birthday party with friends and activities like a pinata or pin the tail on the donkey, a drive-thru birthday party can be a just as fun and memorable experience!
What do you need?
The most popular party supply for these social distance parties are happy birthday yard letters made from durable corrugated plastic. These yard signs are available in letter sets to spell, “Happy Birthday!” and include a few extra emoji symbols like balloons and cupcakes to give your front lawn some extra flair. They come in pink, blue, red, or rainbow sets – a wide variety of colors to suit any little tot on their special day.
Custom yard letters are also available – in which you can specify which letters you need to display a message of your choice.
Each individual sign letter is made from 4mm corrugated plastic that is weather-resistant, UV-protected, and includes two types of stakes that fits the shape of the sign for guaranteed stability. Stay away from regular cardboard as it is flimsy and will wilt in the rain or morning dew.
Additional supplies consist of vinyl banners, cardboard cutouts, inflatables, balloons, flags, window decals, and more!
Drive-by Birthday Parties in the News
The media has gone into a frenzy about people missing connection with their loved ones and peers. According to a NY Times article, Dr. Xygalatas, an anthropology and psychology professor at the University of Connecticut, states that, “When you can’t have the celebration you usually have, you are missing the human connection.” He continues to say that “People are finding ways to make up for it, synchronizing activities so it feels like we are one.” These drive-thru birthday parties are an attempt to unify communities all over the world while practicing social-distancing.
The article features different parties of this fashion such as a 6-year old boy from New York whose family and community presented him with a “walk-by” birthday party on his special day.
Another social-distancing party was conducted in the form of a “stand-by” birthday party involved a New York teacher who’s coworkers stood six feet apart outside of a building to wish her a happy birthday.
From the same report, a 35 year-old celebrated her birthday with seven of her friends that remained parked in their cars outside her home.
A Fox8 article shares the heart-felt story of Ohio police and firefighters holding a drive-by birthday party for a 12-year old with cerebral palsy. They provided cake, presents, and sang to the boy. The party was in the style of a parade involving fire engines and police vehicles.
12 Year-Old New York Boy with Cerebral Palsy Celebrates Birthday with Drive-by Birthday
Drive-by Birthday Parties in Australia
Lastly, a 7-year old girl in Taunton, Massachusetts received one of the biggest drive-by birthday parties on April Fools Day involving over 30 vehicles and approximately 50 cupcakes for the attendees claims an article from the Taunton Gazette. The cupcakes were distributed to the participants in plastic bag while keeping a safe distance of 6 feet away from each other.
People are going stir-crazy and trying to find ways to socialize without close-quarter contact. Although we are longing for human connection and socialization it is imperative to continue to practice social distancing to keep COVID-19 under control. With selfless acts like these, we still can continue to celebrate the birthdays of children and loved ones during this time of crisis.
Drive-by Parties for Any Occasion
In addition to birthday parties, these corrugated plastic yard letters can be used to celebrate any special occasion “drive-by” style. Popular occasions to display these yard signs are graduations, anniversaries, welcoming home family & friends in the military, expecting parents of a new baby boy or girl, or anything you’d like to congratulate someone for!
Other Useful Signage During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Business owners all of the world have turned to advertising signage to keep their businesses afloat during these unprecedented times. Feather flags with messages such as “TAKE OUT”, “WE DELIVER”, and “CURBSIDE PICKUP” have become useful tools for businesses to stay operational by advertising these limited services during the quarantine. A frame sidewalk signs and window decals are another popular displays used to let the public know about changing business hours and services.
We Will Get Through This Together
Drive-thru birthday parties are only one of the ways that we have adapted and came together to help mitigate the spreading of COVID-19. Streaming concerts, teacher parades, telecommuting, and video chats are other notable efforts to help flatten the curve. Everyone can play their part by practicing social distancing while following the health safety laws and best practices. We will get through this.