Quarantine parties are now in, literally. But DJ CHEF is making celebrating seem a lot less isolated.
When quarantining first began in March, Marc Weiss, “DJ CHEF”, got a call for milestone 40th “birthday rodeo” in East Islip. From there, he joined in on a birthday shoutout parade in Long Beach, a community effort to lift neighbors spirits that began on March 22. Every day at 3:30 PM kids up to 18 years old get balloons, provided by Once Upon A Party, and the full DJ CHEF treatment. Beyond the streets themselves, CHEF goes both Instagram and Facebook Live, allowing an even larger audience to join in. It’s a local effort but comes with a global truth: we all need to feel connected right now.
“I just wanted to take a moment and thank Once Upon A Party LBNY and DJ CHEF for volunteering your time and services to make our birthday shoutouts extra special,” Ali Wash, parade coordinator, said in the private Facebook group, Happy Birthday Shoutouts LB. To date, the group has over 1,100 members.
That’s when the idea hit for private birthday party parades, giving individuals a chance to celebrate on a more personalized level. In just a few short weeks client requests have amounted to half a dozen private parades on a weekly basis across both Nassau and Suffolk Counties. While some requests come through email many have reached out via social media (@DJChefRocks). The DJ CHEF party van parks in the driveway with “go to birthday party” music blasting through the power speakers, lined in LED lights, and a wireless mic hooked up so CHEF himself can rev up the crowd.
“I’m happy I found a way to help out in this awful situation,” CHEF said. In addition to the socially distant acceptable party atmosphere, he provides half a pan of his famous Chocolate Banana Dream cake, complete with a sparkler candle. The rest, such as balloons and decorations, is provided by the clients themselves.
“We just finished a DJ CHEF specialty. It was absolutely delicious and it hit the spot,” Dawn Suriani said on Facebook. “Sharing culinary gifts in a unique way in this unique situation we are all in.”
The community parade is an altruistic endeavor, free of charge, but a private arrival to the driveway comes at a fraction of his usual birthday party fee– which is quoted based upon requests. CHEF expressed, “I’m trying to be sensitive to peoples personal situations. It’s really just about helping everyone out during this challenging time.”
DJ CHEF is also offering half pans of Chocolate Banana Dream for $30, with a half pint of chocolate sauce for an additional $5. Clients looking for an indoor party can have a DJ Dance Birthday through Zoom. Call 516-263-2433 and visit his website.