POOLESVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — When Piper Franklin from Poolesville began thinking of her seventh birthday, the coronavirus was likely the last thing on her mind.
But with restaurants, movie theaters and large gatherings closed down and banned due to the virus, her options to celebrate were few.
Her mom, Amanda Hunt Franklin, said as much to her friends on Friday night, just hours before Piper’s big day.
Then, one of the friends came up with an idea. The friend had heard of people celebrating by driving by with signs and cheering, so just like that Hunt Franklin and her friends planned a surprise party with a social-distancing twist: a mini-parade!
At exactly 1 p.m. Saturday, Piper’s parents went outside with her to take out the recycling. Little did Piper know she was about to get the surprise of her life.
“She had no idea,” Hunt Franklin said. “It was so cute.”
Piper’s parents started playing “Happy Birthday” through their vehicle’s speakers and told her to look down the street.
What she saw was a line of cars — nearly a dozen in all — decked out with signs and balloons all wishing her a very special day.
They honked and waved and cheered for Piper, wishing her a happy birthday from at least six feet away as recommended by health professionals.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a party without gifts; Hunt Franklin said several of her friends handed Piper presents — disinfected with Lysol just to be safe.
While not what the family had originally planned, the community came together to make sure Piper still had her moment and a birthday to remember.
“We have just amazing friends and an amazing community,” Hunt Franklin said.
Piper’s surprise party went so well the group of well-wishers is planning another for a little boy who’s turning eight on Monday.