When Zain Criste was born on September 11, his parents discussed how they could make his birthday a celebration without forgetting the tragedy that affected so many Americans.
"We started thinking about this day as a day that we celebrate our heroes," said Zain's mom, Amanda Parra Criste.
When it came time to plan his first birthday, Parra Criste knew there was no better theme than honoring first responders. She enlisted the help of South Florida event planner Christina Manso and they went to the drawing board with creative ideas to make the party unique.
"First responders are real life superheroes and what child doesn't love a good superhero party?" said Christina Manso, owner of DesignPlanPlay.
The party featured three different stations: a firefighter area, a police department area, and a paramedic area. A fire truck, owned by a private company, arrived at the Pinecrest event for the children to experience what it's like riding inside a fire truck. The kids also had a fun time spraying the fire hose.
At the police station dessert table the host offered coffee and donuts, there were Firehouse Subs at the firefighter area, and drinks in IV bags at the paramedic refreshment area.
"Even the bounce house matched the theme. We made that the jail and called it Criste County jail and the photo-op area was a mugshot backdrop," said Manso.
Parra Criste says Zain and all the guests had a blast at his first birthday honoring our local heroes.
"All of these people play a vital role in keeping us safe. It's going to be awesome when Zain get's a little bit older for Zain to pull out the photo album and see what we did for his first birthday," said Parra Criste.