MAUMELLE, Ark. – COVID-19 has led to the cancelation of many events and gatherings, and for those with birthday, parties are simply not an option. But the community of Maumelle has come together to find a unique way to celebrate.
Police cars and SlingShots are used to drawing attention on the road. But now, they’re starting their engines for a good cause, and doing it all out of the goodness of their hearts. Carson Nelson of Maumelle just turned 13, but he’s one of many where COVID precautions meant the cancelation of his planned birthday party. So, his family looked at other ways to make the day memorable. That’s where the community stepped in and lended their wheels to a birthday parade.
“We’ve done several hundred birthday drive-by at this point,” said Cory Pickard, Chief of Police for the Maumelle Police Department. The idea of birthday ride-bys isn’t new to Maumelle PD – they first started doing them in March. “We had a lady reach out to us on Facebook and ask if we would do a birthday ride for her child,” Pickard said. Soon, other area groups wanted to help, and were ready to hit the road. One such group was the Arkansas SlingShotas – a group of local SlingShot riders. “We actually went on and asked if we could join in the rides,” participant Anthony “Derek” Slater said. Since then, they haven done hundreds of parades together, for everyone in the community who is looking to still celebrate their special day.
Because of these birthday parades, Carson was able to have his special moment, and his parents were able to celebrate their boy even during COVID – one car at at time. “I’m just happy that I was still able to do something that was memorable for him,” said mom Roneaka.
Those interested in having their own birthday parade, or just want to join in the fun can contact Cpt. David Collins with the Maumelle Police Department, or Arkansas Slingshotas on Facebook.