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Vaudreuil-Soulanges residents celebrating neighbours’ milestones with drive-by parades

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If you hear horns honking on your street these days, chances are it’s someone’s birthday

With public gatherings banned, Vaudreuil residents are getting creative, finding a way to celebrate neighbours’ birthdays during the COVID-19 health crisis.

“We need some positivity, we need things to look forward to,” said Special Day Vaudreuil-Soulanges creator Denis Robinson.

Robinson was so moved watching a video of another family’s birthday parade that he decided to create his own Facebook page — Special Day Vaudreuil-Soulanges.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival postponed to fall, Jazz Festival cancelled

Inviting his neighbours to help, Robinson creates an event specific to each person’s milestone.

“[It] doesn’t have to be a birthday, could [just] be a special day to celebrate,” he said.
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The group meets on a streetcorner near the unsuspecting celebrant’s houxe, their vehicles decorated using balloons and signs.

There aren’t many rules in the parade, except when it’s time, everyone must drive slowly following the lead car.

The group drives in front of home of the person they’re celebrating, then stops and sings happy birthday from the street, using their horns to send best wishes.

As Robinson said, “there’s no reason to get out of the car.”

Click to play video: 'West Kelowna birthday car parades cancelled' West Kelowna birthday car parades cancelled
West Kelowna birthday car parades cancelled – Apr 2, 2020

While running a business and expecting a baby, Robinson and his partner Pamela Lecavalier host anywhere from two to five celebratory parades per day.

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The parades aren’t meant for a specific age group. They’ve sung happy birthday to people from ages six to 73, and everyone in between.

“We’re all alone and feeling sad, so it doesn’t matter your age. Just to know that everyone wants to wish you a happy birthday or just be a part of something special for you is neat,” said Lecavalier.

For strangers, the parades offer a celebration they will never forget.

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