GALLERY: Prehistoric party for Armstrong woman

A 21-foot dinosaur made a special appearance at 91-year-old Marie Schnare’s birthday party Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. (Graham Schnare - Contributed)
A 21-foot dinosaur made a special appearance at 91-year-old Marie Schnare’s birthday party Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. (Graham Schnare - Contributed)
The North Okanagan Pipes & Drums were extended an invitation to celebrate Marie Schnare’s 91st birthday at a surprise party thrown at her residence in Armstrong’s Heaton Place Sept. 8, 2020. (Graham Schnare - Contributed)
The North Okanagan Pipes & Drums were extended an invitation to celebrate Marie Schnare’s 91st birthday at a surprise party thrown at her residence in Armstrong’s Heaton Place Sept. 8, 2020. (Graham Schnare - Contributed)
The surprise party for 91-year-old Marie Schnare went off without a hitch, said her son, Graham. (Graham Schanre - Contributed)

What do bagpipes, drums and dinosaurs have in common?

They were all guests at one woman’s very special birthday party.

Last year, when Marie Schnare turned 90, a huge party was thrown in her honour. Nine grandchildren travelled to the Okanagan to celebrate the milestone. But with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Schnare said no party for 91.

That didn’t stop her son, Graham Schnare from rolling up his sleeves and marking the day.

On Wednesday, Sept. 8, equipped with a 21-foot dinosaur, a computer set up with Zoom and the North Okanagan Pipes and Drums, Schnare surprised his mother at her residence in Heaton Place in Armstrong.

“It was a total surprise right down to the cupcake bouquets and the drums and bagpipers,” Schnare said.

The party was a huge hit.

“When she woke up, she told Beth, my sister, she was wearing black and might as well be dead,” Schnare said. “I had set her up by having a bag of presents dropped off Thursday (Sept. 3) and a card that said I was heading to Vancouver and wouldn’t be back by Tuesday.

“It was a total surprise.”

Marie Schnare was also visited by her grandchildren via Zoom and her son said they had her laughing pretty hard.

“Pretty sure her depends got a workout,” he said.

Marie Schnare is a retired teacher who has lived in Armstrong since the 1950s. She was also elected as the first woman city councillor in the early 1970s.

As for the dinosaur, Schnare purchased it at the same auction the Okanagan Science Centre bought its newest attraction.

“I’m lending it to the science centre to go with theirs,” he said. “But, I wanted to do one party for my mom and Heaton Place.”

The science centre will welcome the generous donation in the near future, but Schnare said first, they need to renovate an opening to fit it in the building.

READ MORE: Armstrong retirement community reflects on self-isolating amid coronavirus

READ MORE: Armstrong retirement home overwhelmed with kindness amid COVID-19


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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