18-wheelers form caravan for 6-year-old’s birthday party


Six-year-old Dade Madison had a very special birthday this past weekend as tractor-trailer trucks roared past his home honking their air horns. 

“Thank you to all the truckers,” Dade told the Democrat on Monday. “I had a blast!” A family video shows Dade in a chair by the road pumping his arm and waving as the trucks roll by their home.

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted normal birthday parties, but the big truck parade was more than the best alternative, according to his mother Rachelle. 

“This started out as a way to have a party during social distancing,” she said. “My husband is truck driver, and everyone knows everyone in the logging business. I sent out a card to friends, and one of my friends happened to be a truck driver. He shared it on Facebook, and it all rolled from there.”

Madison said the plan was to have just a few trucks drive by the house for her son, but thanks to the Facebook post, at least 20 trucks assembled in the Walmart parking lot and were escorted through the town by Mitch Peden of the Philadelphia Police Department. 

“I am moved to tears, Dade’s mother said. “We sent out love for every person who took the time to come out and show love and support to my son. Truckers have an unspoken code between each other: our family is your family. You don’t pass a kid pumping his arm without tooting a horn. Thank you to everyone for making his day special.” 

Mitchell Madison, Dade’s father, was moved by the community response for his son at their home near Cooks Chapel in east Neshoba County north of Ford’s Store.

“I was overwhelmed that the other truckers took the time on their day off to do this,” Madison said. “I had no idea it would be that many trucks. It had to be at least 20.”

Madison said he is incredibly grateful to each and every trucker who took the time to get permission to borrow the trucks on an off day. 

“I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t blow the horn,” he said. “My son was absolutely ecstatic and watched the video we shot over and over, and wouldn’t stop talking about it all day.” 

Madison thanked the Philadelphia Police Department for escorting the truckers. 

“Getting together for a kid like this is something really special. You don’t see this kind of thing very often,” he said.

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