NUTLEY, NJ – In these uncertain times, it’s BREAKING NEWS when there is good news!

During this stay-at-home mandate, when you here prolonged sirens blaring and horns honking around Nutley, it’s a tell-tale sign of a birthday parade procession.  It’s a unique method to celebrate a child’s milestone occasion during this ‘new normal’ way of life.

That was the case late Thursday afternoon, as friends and family took to their vehicles, to wind down Prospect Street onto Hawthorne Avenue to recognize Julian’s 10th birthday.

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Five police cruisers with lights flashing led the motorcade of two dozen civilian vehicles.  Two firetrucks brought up the rear.

“This is really cool,“ said Julian, a student at Spring Garden Elementary School.  ”I had a feeling something like this would happen since I heard it happened for other kids around town recently.”

With social distancing being practiced, Julian’s friends and classmates were in their parents’ vehicles adorned with balloons and streamers while holding ‘happy birthday’ signs out of the car windows and sunroofs.

Julian stood gleefully with his family on the sidewalk in front of their house to wave at the parade participants.

“In these very trying times, this is the least that we can do for a child,” said Public Safety Commissioner Alphonse Petracco, who was on hand for the festivities.  “I really appreciate all of our Public Safety Department, especially police and fire, for stepping up and doing these events.  The smiles that we are putting on kids’ faces is priceless.”

You could feel the enthusiasm rushing out of all the vehicles during the drive-by, as people were overcome with emotion letting it all out while finally celebrating something positive.

Happy Birthday Julian!  Here’s hoping next year you can celebrate in person with your friends and family.

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