CHEBOYGAN — Alma Ginop turned 101 years old on Monday, May 18, and her friends and family came together to help her celebrate in style, with a parade of more than 100 vehicles.
"We were just discussing, she was born in 1919 and turned 101 in 2020. It's pretty rare that you are born in a double number and you live to the next double number," said Keith Ginop, president of the Cheboygan County Firefighters Association, Inverness Township Fire Department member and Alma Ginop's grandson.
Everyone who was a part of the parade was asked to meet at the Munro Township Hall that afternoon, around 2:30 p.m., so the parade could get lined up and start moving at 3 p.m. Everyone then paraded past Alma Ginop's house, at the corner of Heilman Road and Levering Road, to wish her a very happy birthday, with many more to come.
"We counted over 136 cars," said Keith Ginop. "Seven fire trucks, one semi truck and two tractors. The fire trucks were from three different fire departments in Cheboygan County."
There were a total of 146 vehicles that participated in the parade, including fire trucks from the City of Cheboygan's Fire Department, Inverness Fire Department and Alverno Fire Department.
"She has eight children, all still living, and three of her grandsons and one of her sons are all firefighters," said Keith Ginop. "Three grandsons were driving the fire trucks in the parade."
As the parade approached the intersection of Heilman Road and Levering Road, they rolled through Alma Ginop's driveway, with signs, banners, balloons and waves to wish her happy birthday, as she was sitting outside in the 46 degree, rainy weather, in an enclosed, heated, all terrain vehicle.
Alma Ginop still goes to Canada on a fishing trip every year, even at the age of 101 years old, and has been attending her church for almost as long.
The goal of the parade was to show Alma how much she means to everyone and those who were putting the parade together had the plan to try to get at least 101 vehicles to be in the parade. They were surprised and happy when the final count came in at almost 150, with one family driving several hundreds of miles round trip to take part in the surprise parade.