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How to Have the Best Car Parade Celebration

Just because we’ve been Safer at Home in Los Angeles doesn’t mean kids (or even grown-ups) haven’t had Birthdays, Graduations, Anniversaries, or other reasons to celebrate. So what do you do when you can’t have a party? Have a Car Parade instead!

Also known as Drive-by Parties, or Drive-through Parties, Car Parades are once again permitted by LA County after a brief moment of being frowned upon. Please scroll down to see all the County’s rules and regulations for having a safe Car Parade.

So now that they’re approved again, check out our tips for having the best Car Parade ever!

Car Parade Tips

1. Plan Ahead

It’s a great idea to make a plan for the best possible outcome. Make sure to let your Car Parade guests know well in advance so they can be sure to attend. Plus it gives them time to find car decorations, make signs, and procure gifts (if it’s that kind of celebration).

We participated in a Teacher Appreciation Car Parade for my son’s teacher, and it was a surprise. So the organizer had a group text going with all the info and what was expected of us. Students and families gathered and lined up their cars for a truly memorable event.

Car Parade for Lucy in Berkeley

 Excellent car decorations and a great sign for Lucy, courtesy of our friends at in Berkeley, CA

2. Decorate your Vehicle

When else are you going to get the chance to decorate a car like this? Go all out! Check out our Amazon Store for ideas: garlands, signs, pom-poms, all the ways you can make your car look festive. Make it fun!

While you’re at it, make lots of signs! Since you’ll be staying in your car, a big sign will help get your wishes across without you having to yell too much.

3. Plan the Route

It’s important to know where you’re going, and also what direction you want all the cars facing when they drive by the home of the Birthday boy or girl, or Anniversary Couple. After all, you spent all that time decorating, you want people to see them! Sometimes there’s room for everyone to park in a parade line and sing from the car, which makes it extra fun.

4. Got a Sunroof? 

We’re not advocating being unsafe in any way, but if you are parked and have a sunroof, your kid will probably love sticking their head out and waving. We have seen huge smiles and heard lots of laughter when this happens.

5. Take lots of Pictures

It’s going to be something to remember, so make sure you get the photos and video!

LA County Rules and Regulations for Safe Car Parades

These rules were taken from the LA County notifications about Phase 2 Openings.

“Car parades are now allowed so that graduations, birthdays and other special days and achievements can be safely celebrated. Car parades can not include participants on a bicycle, a motorcycle, a convertible with the top open, or a vehicle with no doors such as a golf cart. If any of the windows on a vehicle is open, the occupants of the vehicle must wear a face covering.

Any organization coordinating a large-scale parade must have a designated organizational host who is responsible for ensuring compliance with the rules for the parade and adherence to the State’s Stay At Home Order that precludes gatherings. Only those personnel of the organization necessary to facilitate the parade and to ensure compliance can be present at the location designated by the host. 

The host must: 

At its own cost, arrange for and provide security sufficient to ensure compliance with the State’s Order and address any traffic and safety issues.

Develop a parade plan that deals with State’s Order, traffic and safety issues, parade participants, and social distancing requirements.

Ensure participants and personnel adhere to the face covering and physical distancing requirements.

The host may provide a significant document to one vehicle parade participant at a time, such as a diploma or other paper, while adhering to face covering and social distancing requirements.

The parade must: 

Take place in an outside location large enough to accommodate the social distancing requirements.

Proceed by the host’s invitation only, with the parade limit of vehicles tied to the capacity size of the location.

Not allow sales or exchanges of any items or food.”

We’re sharing this information from LA County. Please be safe and follow all the rules.

Photo of Lucy’s Car Parade courtesy of 510 Families. Used with permission.

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