To spread joy in a time of uncertainty, a group of parents organized a 13-car parade that cruised through Valencia neighborhoods Thursday.
Since Santa Clarita Valley school districts closed on March 13, many parents expressed that their children missed their friends from school. Kelly Berry, Valencia Valley Elementary School PTA president, discovered the perfect way to reunite students while also adhering to social-distancing regulations.
On Wednesday, Berry organized the route and the parade with other Valencia parents, like Room Parent Coordinator Heather Zaker, over Facebook Messenger.
The “Quarantine Cruisers” went down a specific route in Valencia, that passed students’, librarians’ and teachers’ homes. From cars, students were waving, laughing and giving air hugs to their school community.
As the cars went down the route, “Love Train” by The O’Jays played on repeat, which was the theme of the parade, according to Berry. On their route, many surrounding neighbors came out to see what the commotion was about.
“With all of the noise and commotion coming, so many other people stepped out of their homes, most of them in their pajamas,” said Zakar.
The parade even made an appearance on the popular app NextDoor, according to Berry.
“There were a lot of other people that were able to experience this and it was really touching,” said Zakar. “I keep reflecting back to see the reactions on everybody’s faces (including) students, families, strangers and older people alike, just the joy that we brought to people is just as equal for me.”
Many neighbors were seen cheering the parade on, while others shed tears, Berry said.
“I think this was a day that we’re never gonna forget,” Berry added.