Parade brings smiles to seniors in Port St. Joe

PORT ST. JOE, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Decorating in the wind is hard.

Parade participants hold signs, waving and cheering as they pass Our Home at Beacon Hill.

About a hundred people found that out Saturday afternoon at Veteran's Park in Port St. Joe, taping signs, balloons, and and ribbons to cars.

But we don’t do things because they are easy...we do things because they're hard and they make us happy.

Two minutes down the road at Our Home at Beacon Hill, the effort was worth it.

“They were laughing," administrator Danielle Dickey said. "Laughs are few and far between some days.”

Cars and trucks paraded by the senior living center, bringing joy in tow.

"The beeping of the horns and everybody hollering, it was really good because I know some of it was at me," resident Marsha Jones said.

The parade took staff 20 minutes to brainstorm. It took family and community 20 seconds to drive by.

“To see that many cars leaves us speechless," Dickey admitted. "We are ecstatic.”

The event leaves a lifetime to remember.

"To come around the corner and see [my mom's] face and a smile break brought tears to my eyes,” Sherry Burns said.

Some had a surprise.

"She didn't think we were going to come," Burns added. "I said, 'of course I'm going to come!'"

“They didn’t tell me until the last minute," Sherry's mother, Beryl Price, chimed in. "They brought me flowers. Beautiful flowers.”

All had a message, on and off the road.

“Give me some chocolate," resident Charles Hutt recounted. "And I got chocolate!”

In times like these, the little things become big things.

"It’s almost like a celebration," Dickey continued. "It’s a reminder that we’ve been through Hurricane Michael. We had to evacuate. Now we’re under a lockdown order. It just reminds us that we can get though it. You get asked, 'when does this end?' And you don’t have an end date.”

But they already have a plan.

"We'll have to have a party! You might have to come out here," Jones said with a smile.

"Party hardy," Priced added, throwing out her arms. "We're going to dance."

And bring the ones closest to them a little bit closer.

“Come and visit us," Hutt said, adding an important caveat.

"Bring chocolate when you come!”

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