Should Drive-By Celebrations be Outlawed in the Hudson Valley?
A community not far from the Hudson Valley is now forbidding residents from celebrating birthdays with caravans of cars.
During the coronavirus outbreak, Hudson Valley residents have come up with creative ways to keep life as normal as possible, especially for children. Not being able to celebrate birthdays with friends and family can be pretty depressing for a kid. To spread some joy, communities and neighborhoods have started organizing drive-by celebrations.
Local fire and police departments have also volunteered to help celebrate by leading processions of cars past children's' homes, spreading some cheer during this uneasy time. Videos of children brought to tears by the outpouring of love have been shared on social media, giving us all a reason to be happy for a change.
However, not too far from the Hudson Valley in Sparta, New Jersey, the Grinch has declared that these drive-by celebrations must immediately come to an end. Sparta's chief of police, Neil Spidaletto, is telling residents to just knock it off.
In a posting on the Sparta Police Department's Facebook page, Spidaletto says that police, fire and ambulance vehicles will no longer participate in caravans, and residents should cease the practice. The official statement goes on to explain that New Jersey's governor has declared that non-essential travel is forbidden. According to Executive Order 107, that includes birthday parades.
What's interesting is that the post spells out exactly what Executive Order 107 says, and in section four there seems to be an allowance for visiting people with a "close personal relationship."
Visiting family or other individuals with whom the resident has a close personal relationship, such as those for whom the individual is a caretaker or romantic partner.
Under this provision, I would think simply driving by a beloved family member or friend would be well within the spirit of the law. Being a caretaker is more than just helping someone with physical needs. Being able to lift spirits and care for a child's mental well-being during this extraordinarily stressful time is something I think we should all be encouraged to do, not penalized for.
Here in the Hudson Valley, there seems to be no indication that the birthday caravans are currently being threatened by any of our local town leaders. However, we'd like to know what you think about the practice. Do you believe they go against the stay-at-home order? Or do you think that birthday drive-by celebrations should continue? Let us know your thoughts in the comments on our Facebook page.
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