10 inspiring photos show how Angelenos still celebrate birthdays

Socorro Mojjaro Duran celebrates her 91st birthday on her porch in Alhambra on Monday as her son, Guillermo Mojarro, holds her birthday cake and her family drives past in a caravan celebration.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

The family blew kisses to Socorro Mojjaro Duran on her 91st birthday and sang “Happy Birthday” to her. Same as every year.

Her great-granddaughter, who also was celebrating her fifth birthday, dressed up in a princess costume.

Only this time, it was from a caravan of cars traveling down a residential street in Alhambra.

Social distancing has restricted normal gatherings and celebrations in the age of coronavirus, so we thought we would show you a few creative workarounds.

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Drive by birthday
Isaiah Huang, 9, left, and his sister Semiah, 11, wish their grandmother Socorro Mojarro Duran a happy birthday from their family’s car parked in front of her home in Alhambra.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
Analis Ilumuna Mosqueda-Mojarro, 5, held by her mom Victoria Mojarro, wore a princess costume to celebrate her own and her great-grandmother Socorro Mojarro Duran's birthdays on Monday in Alhambra.
(Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times)

70th anniversary

Libby and Harry Palakow wave to neighbors who gathered outside their Granada Hills home on Wednesday to help the couple celebrate their 70th anniversary.
Libby and Harry Palakow wave to neighbors who gathered outside their Granada Hills home on Wednesday to help the couple celebrate their 70th anniversary.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Harry Polakow was surprised when he heard a knock on his front door. He and his wife Libby are in their 90s and not supposed to have company.

But Wednesday was the couple’s 70th wedding anniversary. And their Granada Hills neighbors were not about to let the coronavirus make them celebrate the day alone.

Carrying flowers, balloons and homemade chocolate cake, they’d gathered — six feet apart, of course — on the lawn, in the driveway and on the sidewalk to toast the pair and serenade them with the “Anniversary Waltz.”

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— Sandy Banks

Jean Lionelli fixes a sign hung outside neighbors Harry and Libby Palakow's home in Granada Hills to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

A virtual prom

Canceled prom in Riverside
The Stowe family greets neighbors, keeping social distancing, in Riverside.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

After celebrating with their nephew via a family video feed to help make up for his canceled prom, the Stowe family from Riverside, in role-reversal costumes, greeted their neighbors keeping social distancing in Riverside. The Stowe family has been coming up with themes to dress in costumes for the past three Sundays to keep some fun in their lives. “We are trying to find little glimmers,” Julie Stowe said.

canceled prom
The Stowe family, dressed in role-reversed formal attire, dance in their Riverside home to celebrate a nephew’s prom that was canceled because of the coronavirus. The nephew, Cole Biehl, and his family in Rancho Santa Margarita took part by video feed, shown on a laptop in the Stowes’ living room.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Not breaking tradition

Coronavirus birthday
Margaret Jones, center, with Kensington employees, is seen from her second-story window, after celebrating her 91st birthday.
(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)

Lucy Cavazos has celebrated Margaret Jones’ birthday with her for the last 20 years and wasn’t going to break that tradition. Jones currently resides in an assisted living facility in Redondo Beach that is not receiving visitors due to the coronavirus pandemic.

So, Cavalos and her daughter Amber, climbed onto a mechanical lift and were hoisted up to Jones’ second-floor window to keep the tradition alive.

Assisted living facility in Redondo Beach
Lucy Cavazos, right, and her daughter Amber of Huntington Park use a construction lift to help Margaret Jones celebrate her 91st birthday at Jones’ assisted living facility in Redondo Beach.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Coronavirus birthday
Lucy Cavazos, left, and her daughter Amber hold a birthday greeting for Margaret Jones outside Jones’ assisted living facility in Redondo Beach.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
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Los Angeles Times’ visual coverage of the coronavirus crisis

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