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Monday, May 25, 2020

Photo Gallery: Carmel Manor Easter Parade Brings Community Together Among Social Distancing Orders

Carmel Manor displays a sign that reads “Carmel Manor Loves Our Families” near the entrance during their Easter Parade on April 8, 2020. 

By Jessie Eden
Amidst all the worry and uncertainty during the pandemic, there was a beautiful, vibrant bright spot on Thursday afternoon. These 'bright spots' mean even more during these stressful times and they provide a sense of hope and joy.

These two things may seem like they are in short supply right now...but that couldn't be further than the truth and Thursday's parade at Carmel Manor is proof of that.

The Fort Thomas community came together on April 8 to throw an Easter Parade for the residents at Carmel Manor and it was one glorious bright spot among a rough Spring.

Nearly 150 cars lined up along the drive and around Tower Park as people waited to drive by to waive at their loved ones.
And, when we say came together, we're talking a parade with around 150 cars! The long line of cars met at the Reserves in Tower Park and slowly wound around the bend towards Carmel Manor and down the drive. Car after car excitedly beeped their horns as they approached the building.

Residents at Carmel Manor line up to see their loved ones drive by.
The Carmel Manor residents, lined up in wheelchairs six feet apart, along the half-circle drive. The residents wore colorful hats and vibrant blankets in the sunny Springtime weather. A giant sign that said "Carmel Manor Loves Our Families" hung across the entrance, decorated with love and care. Another sign hung along a fence on the drive.

The Easter Bunny stands with Carmel Manor residents and waives at people driving by in the parade.
Caretakers in medical masks and residents alike waived and shouted joyfully at loved ones from the curb. Even the Easter Bunny made an appearance!

Many community members who participated in the parade decorated their cars in bright pastel streamers, signs and balloons. They brought flowers, gifts and other goodies for their loved ones, showering them in the love they couldn't physically express.

There were also two, large, furry parade members in a convertible. Talk about riding in style!

Two dogs ride in the back of one of the parade cars.
At various points, the parade allowed drivers to stop for a moment and shout to their loved ones and say hello and how much they missed them. There were smiles...but there were also tears from the residents (and most likely, a few drivers) and longing backward glances from the drivers as they circled the drive and left the route and drove out of the parking lot.

It was heartwarming and bittersweet as an observer for Fort Thomas Matters. This is a hard time for all of us. It isn't fair but it's the reality we're living in right now. It's so hard to see someone you love and not be able to give them a a self-proclaimed 'hugger' of people I've often just met, I understand this at my very core.

But - we WILL make it through this and think 'Remember when the community came together for this beautiful thing and made the best of it? It was so hard to do...but at least we did something!'

We will get through this, Fort Thomas!

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