BALTIMORE — A family used to celebrating with big parties wasn't about to let COVID-19 stop a yearly celebration. Loretta Fowler turned 80 on Thursday and was treated to a birthday party unlike one she's celebrated before.
"I was really surprised, I really was," said Fowler.
The great-grandmother was still feeling the love a day after she received a personal parade.
"With everything going on I just felt like like we were not going to be together," said Fowler. "But we were together. I wasn’t able to greet them. I wasn’t able to embrace my grandchildren or my great grandchildren but they were in the cars waving and singing happy birthday!"
The parade came together last minute. Family, friends and neighbors along Burnwood Road all pitched in to make the celebration memorable.
"We still wanted to keep the essence of a birthday party," said Fowler's grandson Camerron Evans. "We couldn’t really do a birthday party because we were trying to protect ourselves to so It was like, you know what let’s get everybody on the phone see who can make it who can’t make it. If you could make it, the more the merrier!"
In the past the family said they've celebrated with big parties, even black tie affairs.
"This year was definitely different," said Fowler's daughter Beverly Tripline. "I had gloves on and a mask. My mom stood up by the house in gloves and a mask too. I stood down on the ground level and those who came past had cards and balloons. I was the one who was able to collect them."
While not exactly what the family had planned, Lorretta said this year's birthday was still meaningful.
"I never expected to live to be 80," she said. "I’ve got some great children, some great grandchildren. They look out for me. They’re there for me and I'm happy. I’m blessed by that."