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92-year-old surprised with social distance birthday parade

A pandemic sure was not going to stop one family from finding a creative and safe way to celebrate.

PALM HARBOR, Fla. — Forty-five cars full of family and friends and a video truck lined the streets ready to surprise one unsuspecting 92-year-old Palm Harbor man, Paul "Pops" Cianci.

His family had planned on a large gathering to honor Pops, but then the coronavirus pandemic hit, putting a wrench in their plans. His son, also Paul Cianci, said as the pandemic persists things have started to get tough.

"He lives by himself but it’s getting harder for him every month," Paul said

But, instead of calling the celebration, a loss Pops family pivoted to a social distancing option -- a parade. 

Music filled his 55-and-older community as the cars took off looping his culdesac to celebrate him.

Some honked, others cheered, and of course, there was even cowbell. 

Pops sat out front of his house on a bench soaking it all in as his loved ones waved and sent him well wishes, some even made him signs. A big smile plastered on his face.

All while an 8-foot by 12-foot video truck sat in the center displaying a picture of the birthday boy himself with the message, "Happy birthday Pops! We love you."

Even some of Pops neighbors got involved sitting in their yards with balloons and signs wishing him well on his birthday. 

Shouts of "happy birthday pops" and "love you pops" filled the neighborhood.

Pops family even made sure everyone got a piece of cake, "we handed out Hostess Cupcakes, individually wrapped, in place of birthday cake," Pops' son told 10News.

An experience, Paul best summed up in a few words, "It was awesome!" 

Happy 92nd birthday, Pops! Thanks for sharing your celebration with us.

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