Merkel community comes together for surprise birthday parade


MERKEL, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) A local community coming together to celebrate one of their own.

“Today is my birthday,” says 31 year old Hayden Toombs.

From sitting courtside at basketball games to riding his bike across town, Hayden is very well known.

“All you have to do is say the name Hayden Toombs and the Merkel crowd is ready to do anything for him,” says Clayton Tarpley, Hayden’s cousin.

Hayden is autistic but his cousin Clayton says that only adds to his character.

“Hayden is a super caring person, loves everyone, loves people, loves Merkel, loves birthdays, loves the news so, the fact that we’re getting to do this birthday parade for him is so special,” says Clayton.

COVID-19 forcing them to get creative.

“We knew Hayden’s birthday was coming up. He will remind you, April 18th is his birthday and if you don’t know it then, you will,” says Clayton.

He says they threw the idea out there and immediately got a response from the community.

“We organized this in 3 days and have an entire line of people,” say Clayton.

Car after car wished Hayden a happy birthday some even bringing gifts.

“Thank you,” says Hayden.

Hayden also says other than the parade, his favorite birthday gifts are his 3 new baby chicks and a duckling.

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