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Coronavirus outbreak: What is a 'car parade'?

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Comin' through!

As Americans self-isolate and practice safe social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, a new way to celebrate special moments or milestones has rolled up: the car parade.

In a “car parade,” people adorn their vehicles with decorations like balloons, signs and streamers, then drive by a loved one’s residence.

In a “car parade,” people adorn their vehicles with decorations like balloons, signs and streamers, then drive by a loved one’s residence. (iStock)

Since people began sticking closer to home after the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a national emergency in mid-March, the popularity of the festive fad has accelerated, as merrymakers shift gears to celebrate from a distance.

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In a “car parade,” people adorn their vehicles with decorations like balloons, signs and streamers, then drive by a loved one’s residence. From afar, the car processions often beep their horns, play music and shout well-wishes for birthdays, gender reveals and more.

The massive car parade for Charlene Anderson's 100 birthday.

The massive car parade for Charlene Anderson's 100 birthday. (Ed Allison)

Family and friends recently went all-out for a car parade in honor of Charlene Anderson's 100th birthday in Foley, Alabama.

Family and friends recently went all-out for a car parade in honor of Charlene Anderson's 100th birthday in Foley, Alabama. (Ed Allison)

It’s certainly a different kind of party than a traditional get-together, but one that practices a safer way to spread love and cheer during the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

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For example, a community in an Alabama recently threw a huge car parade to celebrate one woman's 100th birthday. And in Connecticut, four police officers helped lead a car parade for a young boy's fifth birthday celebrations on Sunday, Fox 8 reports.

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As seen on social media, teachers have also arranged car parades for students, and students have arranged then for teachers. One Arkansas couple was even treated

to a drive-by gender reveal party.

The fad is just one of the many ways Americans are adjusting to life under isolation. For other ways Americans are finding opportunities to stay strong, check out these other uplifting stories.