Mom saves the day with birthday parade

Parker Miller had been looking forward to having a dinosaur egg hunt on his birthday for months. It was the first year his birthday didn't land on Easter — Parker turned three on April 17 — and his mother Michelle O'Laney wanted to make it a special occasion, as her son is really into dinosaurs and thought a scavenger hunt with his friends would be a great idea. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing her to cancel the hunt, she decided to have a birthday parade for Parker instead. 

O'Laney dressed up in a dinosaur costume for the occasion, and family friends drove by the house, with their vehicles decked out in signs and balloons, twice in the span of  an hour. The first parade had nine cars, the second had 10. 

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"I am definitely very thankful for how it turned out. He was looking forwrad to his dino hunt for a long time and it was heartbreaking that he couldn't have that with everything going on," O'Laney said. "It was great to get his mind off things and he probably liked this even better."

Parker is obsessed with firetrucks, so O'Laney reached out to both the Fort St. John Fire Department and RCMP detachments to see if they could send a fire truck and police car to participate in the parade. At first, she didn't think the fire department would be able to, but eventually found out that both types of vehicles would be coming. 

"It definitely made his day. He absolutely loved it and won't stop talking about it," O'Laney said. "Thank you to the fire department for doing this."

O'Laney said she didn't expect the parade to come together as it did, but wasn't surprised because, "people in Fort St. John always come together," she said.

A couple birthday parades have happened in Fort St. John over the last month. The fact that the family's friends all took time out of their day to come join a parade for a half hour is a sign of how the community is banding together to help each other out during this tough time.

Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at


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