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There will be dancing in the street

The Brodrecht family of Elmira get ready to celebrate daughter Leanna’s sweet 16 with a drive by dance party on Monday (May 4). [Sean Heeger]

Staying indoors may be getting harder to bear lately, but one local family has found a way to get the community outside, and celebrate their daughter’s birthday with family, friends and people they haven’t been able to see since social distancing started.

The Brodrecht family in Elmira will be hosting what they call the ‘Drive-by Dance Party’ on May 4 and they’re asking the community to come by and join in on the fun, as they aim to celebrate their daughter Leanna’s sweet 16.

Nicole Brodrecht says they came up with the idea for her daughter’s party after seeing similar things on social media. The Brodrechts wanted to find a safe way to “let out steam” and visit with friends and family while continuing to maintain social distancing. The dance party was then born and plans were underway to create a birthday where the town could celebrate together.

“We love music and we love dancing and since we’re straight on the main street I thought it would be fun to invite people to come along and enjoy the party with us,” said Brodrecht. “We’ll decorate the front up for the sweet-16 birthday and we’ll have music playing from our house … we’ll be having fun on this side. What we’re asking is if people are willing, to drive by, pick their favourite song, roll down the windows and dance like nobody’s watching.”

She invites people to play music from any era and genre, but reminds everyone that it is a family event and the lyrics must be appropriate. She says those attending should feel free to dress up, decorate the car and have fun with it, or come by in their “Netflix attire.”

Brodrecht says they did not have plans for a big celebration before COVID-19 brought about social distancing. Their original plans still included a dance party, but it would have been a smaller affair held at a venue where the “girls can have a blast with their friends.”

She says Leanna is upset that she couldn’t celebrate with her friends, but she’s extremely excited to have the party in this format. Currently they’re expecting about 20 cars and she says that number is growing. There may also be surprise visits happening throughout the event and Brodrecht says that’s being worked out in the background.

“We’re just having fun with this and allowing it to sort of build organically and hopefully people will enjoy,” said Brodrecht.

Despite things being put on hold, Brodrecht says it’s a small price to pay for staying healthy and this party is as much about thanking the front-line workers as it is a birthday party.

“It really is the least that we can do as a healthy family and as a community, and I hope that this drive by party is a way to safely be able to let out a little bit of fun and also honour what we’re being asked to do at the same time.”

The party will run from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 97 Arthur St. S., Elmira.

Get more information by visiting the Facebook page Elmira Drive by Dance Party.

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