Jefferson Park boy celebrates 10th birthday with parade amid coronavirus crisis

CHICAGO (WLS) -- From play dates to parties, the physical distancing measures necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19 are changing the way kids are able to get together.

Zachary Korotko said son Jasper had big plans for his 10th birthday: A laser tag party with friends that he'd been talking about for months.

But Jasper's dream party wasn't possible with the state's stay-at-home order and other social distancing recommendations in place.

"I was really sad when I couldn't have my birthday party," Jasper said.

Dad Zachary said Jasper understands the circumstances.

"He's caring. He didn't want to put anyone in some kind of danger," Zachary said.

Jasper's mom, Jenny, reached out to some friends for suggestions to make her boy's birthday special. One had a unique idea: A drive-by birthday parade.

"Very quickly family and friends collaborated," Jenny said.

So on the big day, Jasper's parents told him to come out to the family's front lawn.

"I asked why (but) they didn't tell me, they just said, 'Come outside,'" he said.

One by one Jasper's friends and their parents slowly rolled past the family's Jefferson Park home in their cars, honking their horns and singing happy birthday to the newly-minted 10-year-old.

"I did not expect this at all. I immediately started crying, it was so beautiful," Jenny said. "It was a beautiful display of love and friendship and everyone coming together for Jasper."

The birthday parade participants said it was a fun way to safely celebrate together.

And the review from the birthday boy himself?

"Overall it was probably my best birthday experience," Jasper said.
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