Circus Performers Deliver Joy at Drive-Thru 18th Birthday Party in Emerald Bay

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Fred Silva, Tyler Gladstone, and Lori Gladstone of Emerald Bay pose for a photo with their recently-adopted Labradoodle, Bingo. Courtesy of Lori Gladstone.

Tyler Gladstone of Laguna Beach recently received some mind-bending visitors on her 18th birthday: a mime, magician, and juggler on stilts.

In their search for a creative way to celebrate her landmark birthday, while also social distancing, the 18-year-old’s family hired an entertainment company to produce a circus in front of their Emerald Bay home.

“It was fantastic,” Tyler’s mother Lori Gladstone said. “With all of the new drive by parties popping up we wanted to do something a little different. We thought why not entertain them while they’re waiting.”

Gladstone and her fiancé Fred Silva told Tyler that they invited friends and neighbors to join in a car parade to celebrate her birthday but kept the performers as a surprise.

About 40 cars and golf carts rolled through the open-air circus on Sunday to visit Tyler. Todd Elliot, a mime and owner of Todd Elliot Entertainment & Event Planning, said all of his performers stayed at least six feet away from guests to practice social distancing over the hour-long show.

Magician Paul Fredrick’s card tricks left many guests scratching their heads.

“It put a smile on everyone’s face that we’re all needing these days,” Silva said.

Mime Todd Elliot, juggler and circus performer Chris Bee, and magician Paul Frederick strike a post during an 18th birthday party for Tyler Gladstone, 18, on May 3 in Emerald Bay. Photo courtesy of Todd Elliot Entertainment

Tyler also received a surprise visit from the first dog she’ll ever own, a Labradoodle puppy named Bingo, who is scheduled to permanently join the Gladstone home on Friday. As someone who voluntarily walks neighbors’ dogs, Tyler is looking forward to playing with Bingo at home and the local dog park.

She was particularly excited to see two of her favorite teachers at Tarbut V’Torah Community Day School in Irvine join in the car parade.

Since the stay-at-home order prompted by the coronavirus, Tyler has fallen into a new routine that includes online home-schooling and walking around her neighborhood. But she admits there’s still nothing quite like seeing her friends and teachers in-person.

“She was really overwhelmed with joy,” Gladstone said. “You don’t realize how much you miss seeing people in person.”

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