CHICAGO — Jasper Korotko was planning to celebrate his 10th birthday this past weekend with a game of laser tag and a sleepover.
But with social distancing in full effect due to the coronavirus outbreak, Jasper’s parents were forced to cancel the party and get creative.
“We were in a pinch to make this special,” said Jenny Korotko, Jasper’s mom.
WATCH THE PARADE:
Jenny Korotko sought advice from other parents and one of them suggested the winning idea: a social distancing parade.
On Saturday, Jasper’s birthday, Jenny Korotko and her husband, Zachary, arranged to have Jasper’s friends and parents drive past their Jefferson Park house with signs and balloons, honking and blasting birthday songs.
Some of Jasper’s friends gave presents out of their car windows, which were promptly disinfected.
The party was called “Jasper’s Drive By Honky Tonky.”
“It gave people something to do that was meaningful. A lot of people came on board because this is a weird time. It was just something nice to do,” Jenny Korotko said.
Jasper isn’t “great at surprises,” Jenny Kortoko said, so she and her husband told him that someone would be driving by to wish him a happy birthday. But Jasper was “very much in shock” when the cars kept coming.
“When we got in the house he teared up quite a bit,” she said.
“When we revisit the videos, he just smiles. He’s telling all of his family members about it — bragging all day.”
Jenny Korotko and her husband also decorated the whole house and set up an ongoing Zoom so Jasper could see his friends and family members. She said he was especially excited to see his teacher; he goes to Drummond Montessori Magnet School in Bucktown.
“The Zoom being open. … for family to come in and out of — that kept his spirits up,” Jenny Kortoko said.
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