West Kelowna Party Parades called off their birthday parades to keep the community safe. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)

West Kelowna Party Parades called off their birthday parades to keep the community safe. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)

West Kelowna birthday parades cancelled, Easter drive-by egg hunt still on

West K Party Parades made the decision to keep community safe

West K Party Parades has called off any birthday party parades after the administrators realized they need to fully stay home to help the COVID-19 fight.

Jenn Sterling, a co-administrator for the group said it was a difficult decision, but they knew they had to do it. She said she and the other administrators read a news report advising residents to minimize going out to the most essential trips.

“The article basically said ‘is it still ok to drive my car during the pandemic?’ No was basically the answer. Having read that, we all just thought that it’s poor of us to continue on and pretending that it didn’t apply to us,” Sterling said.

“Our kids are watching and paying attention to what we’re doing and we’re always telling them to follow the rules, so what kind of an example would it be for us to say ‘well, I think these ones are breakable’. So we decided to cancel all of the parades immediately.”

Naturally, the community was disappointed and the administrators shed some tears, having put in so much time and effort into planning the parades.

“My kid’s birthday is in a week and I had really wanted to have a parade for him … and this is the second time I’m cancelling his birthday on him. He gets it, but it’s still really hard.”

There may be no more birthday parades, but Sterling said the greetings and fun have now moved online. She said another administrator, Lisa McMurray, is helping families arrange birthday Zoom calls as well as personalized video greetings for those who ask for it.

In the meantime, Sterling helped another group of mothers put together a drive-by Easter egg hunt. The idea originated with West Kelowna mom Shannon Gallivan. Sterling said the plan is to put laminated egg pictures along a route that families can drive through, so the children can try to spot the eggs while inside the car.

Sterling said if families don’t want to risk going outside at all, they’ll have a video version of the egg hunt route and children can pause the video, draw their favourite egg from there.

“Once you get home, you can look through the egg pictures and each child will draw three of their favourites on one piece of paper. Take a picture of that paper and upload it to our Facebook group as an entry to win a prize,” she said.

“We’ve got a lot of local businesses wanting to participate in this. Some of them include Baby and Me, Scentsy, the Johnson Bentley Memorial Aquatic Centre, Pizzamoreh and West Kelowna Gymnastix.”

“Shannon is putting the prizes together into creative gift ideas. From the photo entries we get, we’ll do a draw and give the prizes to whoever we pick.”

The drive-by Easter egg hunt is scheduled for April 11 and families can drive along the route from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

For more information, visit the egg hunt event page.

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Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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