Six-Year-Old’s Birthday Party Becomes Personal Birthday Parade Thanks to Community

Josie Ulvestad was surprised with a parade filled with her friends, and Duluth Police and Fire Department.

DULUTH, Minn.- As gatherings and parties have to be cancelled to maintain social distance, one Duluth community couldn’t let one six-year-old birthday girl go without having some type of celebration.

Car honks, sirens, and waves greeted a very happy Josie Ulvestad, as she got her own personal birthday parade.

Her mother told the other parents of her classmates over social media that she was bummed about not having a party this year. So they got together, along with some special guests: members of Duluth Police and Fire Departments.

“We support them, and they support us,” said Tom Maki, fellow parent who helped Josie’s parents coordinate it all. He said with one phone call to both DPD and DFD, they were on board.

“Everybody rallied together around a little girl turning six, that we just wanted somebody to have a great birthday, y’know?” he said. “Everyone’s dealing with this stuff and it’s just really nice that we can do something to make her birthday special.”

The birthday girl’s parents were happy to give her a celebration while also social distancing–thanks to the efforts of their friends.

“It’s hard for a six-year-old to understand everything that’s happening right now, so the fact they came out is pretty cool,” her father David Ulvestad said.

The whole thing was a surprise for Josie, who had a great time seeing all of her friends wave and wish her happy birthday.

Even if the sirens were a bit startling at first. She said her first feeling upon hearing them blare down the alley was “scared.”

But at the end of it all, she was all smiles for this birthday to remember. All she could say to her well-wishers was “thank you!”


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