Jimmy Carter feted with drive-by Plains parade to celebrate 96 years

Everybody loves a parade.

Especially Jimmy Carter.

The former president, who celebrated his 96th birthday on Thursday, was treated to a grand parade in his honor in his hometown of Plains, Georgia.

More than 200 cars, peanut wagons and decorated golf carts drove past the Carters' Plains home as he and his wife, Rosalynn, waved from their front gate.

“It was a fabulous event and President Carter was all smiles,” said Jill Stuckey, superintendent of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site.

Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, wave at folks wishing him a happy 96th birthday on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020.
Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, wave at folks wishing him a happy 96th birthday on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020.

Credit: Carter Center

Credit: Carter Center

In the height of a pandemic, the event was tailored for social distancing. The Carters, along with their sons Jeff and Chip and their aides, all wore masks.

President Carter wore an Atlanta Braves mask. Rosalynn’s white mask was adorned with golden butterflies.

Stuckey’s mask featured Carter’s famously toothy smile.

Jill Stuckey, superintendent of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site wearing a Jimmy Carter mask in honor of his 96th birthday.
Jill Stuckey, superintendent of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site wearing a Jimmy Carter mask in honor of his 96th birthday.

Credit: Jill Stuckey

Credit: Jill Stuckey

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Dressed in a blue shirt with matching socks, the 39th president waved at each honking car.

Stuckey said the parade was organized by the Friends of Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, the town’s mayor and the Maranatha Baptist Church.

“The town never misses an opportunity to show the Carters that we love and care for them,” Stuckey said.

The Rev. Tony Lowden, the pastor of Maranatha, drove past with two parishioners. Large “9″ and “6″ balloons bounced out of the sunroof of his car.

”The biggest thing is that everyone wanted to wish him well,” Lowden said. “A lot of us didn’t want him to go without a big celebration on his birthday.”

Rangers at the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in Plains prepare to drive by Jimmy Carter's house for a parade.
Rangers at the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in Plains prepare to drive by Jimmy Carter's house for a parade.

Credit: Jill Stuckey

Credit: Jill Stuckey

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