ST. PETERSBURG — The potential of rain and chilly weather played a role in changing the venue and time of the Shimmer and Shine birthday party for Ahloni Frazier; however, the gloom and cold did not change the spirit of the celebration.
Last Saturday, Ahloni commemorated her third birthday as a genie at her grandmother’s home attended by approximately 35 family and friends. Ahloni, dressed in a Shimmer and Shine t-shirt and a hot pink sparkling tutu, smiled gleefully as family and friends gathered for her special day.
“This is a celebration of life. When I was growing up, I did not have a birthday party,” said Selena Walker, Ahloni’s grandmother. I feel like that part of growing up I missed.”
Not having birthday parties as a child spurs Walker to create a special day for all of her grandchildren. She feels that a party is the one opportunity where families will schedule time out of their busy lives for to come together.
“Cousins can meet one another and we all just have a good time. It gives lasting memories.”
“It’s the time to Shimmer and Shine” was the theme of the party, which set the tone for bright eyes, smiling faces and guest modeling their costumes. But make no mistake this day was about Ahloni.
Shimmer and Shine are television cartoon characters who have captivated the minds of younger children today. Shimmer is an optimistic genie with blue eyes and pink hair and Shine is a courageous genie with purple eyes and blue hair. These characters have contributed to younger children asking for exotic pets rather than the more common puppy or kitten.
The celebration started off with pre-party activities that occupied the youthful early arrivals. A Disney “Frozen” bounce house set up an hour before the start of the party drew the attention of nearly 15 children.
The party-goers used their imaginary powers to turn the bounce house into a castle while jumping, screaming, laughing and being completely oblivious to the actual start time. When the time came to begin and the remaining guest arrived, music seemed to be the queue for the latest dance moves and contest.
After a series of games and activities, like most grandmothers would do, it was time to eat and cut the birthday cake.
For Ahloni, she may not remember much about this party when she gets older but that’s what her grandmother is there for. As Walker relives her childhood through her grandchildren, she records each birthday memory—rain or shine—for posterity.