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A birthday to remember

Tiffin twins get their own parade
Ashton and Stella Welch pose with their dad Jake after a nearly 40-vehicle parade rolled past their house, in Tiffin, on Sunday, March 29, to celebrate the twins’ seventh birthday.

TIFFIN– Ashton and Stella Welch were happily playing in their garage when told to put on their coats and come outside. In the driveway of their Tiffin home, chairs and blankets, to cut the chill of a strong breeze, were waiting. Minutes later, several units from the Tiffin and Oxford Fire Departments slowly turned the corner from Redbird Run onto West Goldfinch Drive with all of the emergency lights flashing.
With their eyes wide in excitement, the twins heard “Happy Birthday Ashton and Stella!” from a loudspeaker on one of the trucks.
The trucks led nearly 40 cars, pickups, vans, a food truck from ZZ-n-T, and even a truck pulling a trailer with a small excavator on it in a parade celebrating the girls’ seventh birthday.
It was supposed to be their first real birthday party, with a family friend and art teacher coming to present a painting class for the girls and their friends, mom Amanda Welch said.
“They haven’t had one yet because they were born premature, so we’ve had to isolate them a little bit (due to being immune compromised). And then all this (COVID-19 fears, social distancing) happened so we had to reach out and decided this was a great idea,” Amanda said. She created an event on Facebook inviting family and friends to parade past their house on Sunday, March 29.
As the caravan, many of the vehicles decorated for the occasion, rolled by honking their horns and waving, some tossed candy onto the driveway while others stopped to hand presents to Amanda or dad Jake.
Toward the end, the truck pulling the excavator stopped and Donovan Smith, a foreman with Sustainable Landscape Solutions in Iowa City (where Amanda is the office manager), maneuvered the bucket carefully toward the end of the driveway, which was covered in candy. Gently, he opened the bucket on the machine and deposited gifts for the delighted twins, who were initially panicked he was going to scoop up their candy.
The girls officially turned seven on Monday, March 30.