Tracy fire, police, ambulance join the birthday parade fun

HADYN OHMAN and his mother, Melissa, watch as Hadyn’s birthday parade goes by their home on East Morgan St. last Thursday. Photo / Per Peterson

By Per Peterson

The fire department drive-by birthday trend has made its way to Tracy.

The Tracy Fire Department last Thursday helped 13-year-old Hadyn Ohman celebrate his 13th birthday and will be taking part in a number of birthday drive-bys in the coming weeks, a trend born from COVID-19 social distancing. There was also one last Friday, a couple more Monday of this week, and many more are planned in April and even into May.

Hadyn’s grandmother, Shari Thomas, said her grandson had texted her about how sad he was knowing that his birthday party would be cancelled this year.

Hadyn’s mom, Melissa, suggested the family join the drive-by parade fad, and Shari took it a step further. As a cousin to April Lichty — wife of Tracy Police Chief Jason Lichty — the police and fire departments were enlisted to add a little something extra to the parade.

“It started out that just family was going to do it, but I reached out to April to see if Jason could lead it,” said Shari. “And she reached out to the ambulance and fire departments.”

Shari said she had stopped by the Ohman house earlier that day and Hadyn had asked if everyone forgot about his birthday.

“I said, ‘No, we didn’t forget about your birthday!” she said.

Before the convoy crawled by their home on East Morgan St., the Ohmans stood in the front yard much like anyone waiting for a parade would. Only Hadyn didn’t know what was coming, or that it was all for him.

“He was pretty embarrassed,” Melissa said. “He was wondering what the heck everyone was acting so weird for — what am I standing out here for? He said, ‘I can’t believe you did this,’ and took off running! It was really fun. It was really nice of them for all to come out.”


Since we can’t be at all local birthday parades, the Tracy Area Headlight Herald encourages families who take part in a birthday parade to send us a photo or two from the big day, as well as any comments you wish to share. You can email everything to