Tearful 100-year-old man surprised with socially distanced birthday party

‘I never saw anything like that’

James Crump
Tuesday 28 April 2020 19:39 BST
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A grandfather, who was about to turn 100, was thrown a surprise socially distanced birthday party, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Peter Zagara, who lives in New Jersey, turned 100 on 13 April, but was thrown a surprise party the day before, when friends and family drove past his house to wish him a happy birthday.

Mr Zagara’s family and friends were unable to give him a traditional celebration, but decided to do something in line with social distancing rules to celebrate the milestone.

Dozens of his friends and family drove past his house on 12 April, while his grandson PJ Franovic, filmed his reaction.

At the start of the video, Mr Franovic said to Mr Zagara: “It’s your birthday Pop, and you’re turning 100! And we’ve got to make sure that you have a party with the right amount of people for it, so we’ve got some people driving down.”​

His favourite song, Come Fly with Me by Frank Sinatra was played through a speaker, and cars started to drive down the street.

A group of fire engines, with their sirens on, joined near the end of the parade, before a taco truck drove past, with 100 written on its side.

Mr Franovic told Good Morning America, that Mr Zagara was brought to tears by the gesture.

“He was definitely crying, overwhelmed,” Mr Franovic told them. “He said, ‘I never saw anything like that.’”

On Monday, a similar gesture was thrown for Rod Duggar in Tallahassee, as he was unable to have his planned 100 birthday celebration at his local church.

More than 80 cars and trucks paraded past Mr Duggar’s church to wish him well, while he waited inside with his daughters, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

According to a tracking project hosted by Johns Hopkins University, nationally there are now upwards of on million people who have tested positive for coronavirus. The death toll has reached at least 56,368.

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