Oak Hill birthday parade draws dozens of vehicles

OAK HILL, WV (WOAY) – In this unprecedented time, people have to get creative when it comes to birthday celebrations.

This year, Casey and Gabby’s birthday parties looked a bit different as it was done in a drive-through fashion with sirens and horns blaring.

“My favorite part was when I saw my teacher because I haven’t seen her in a really long time,” said 9-year-old Gabby Thomas.

The inspiration came from seeing others come up with similar ideas to replace birthday parties when both Gabby and Casey wondered what would happen to their plans this year.

“I mentioned Casey was kind of concerned about his birthday and how he was going to have a birthday party or anything like that and a friend of mine and a former teacher of his, Mona Goodall, said ‘let’s have a parade,’” said Casey’s mother, Pam Vance.

Once the Vance family decided that’s how they would celebrate Casey, they knew there was one little girl who shared his birthday that needed to get in on the fun.

“We are pretty close with Casey and his family,” said Brandy Thomas. “[Gabby] is a pretty special little girl. so I knew that no matter what we did she would love it.”

Dozens of members of the community showed up for the event, with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office leading the way.

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Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.