AURORA, Ill. (CBS) – Birthdays may just come once a year, but in Aurora on Thursday, they're celebrating dozens of birthdays all at once.
It was a big collective bash for all the residents celebrating specific milestones. CBS 2's Sara Machi was there to run the numbers.
Inside an Aurora community center, the setup looked like any traditional birthday party with cake and decorations, presents, and party guests.
But there was one catch: They were celebrating everyone in Aurora turning 1 or 100.
"Can you imagine being 100 years old?" said mom Gabby Gould to her daughter. "No, me either."
Gould was there with her twins, who were born on Oct. 3, 2022, a milestone made more special because her son Cole was born with a genetic brain condition.
"It's been crazy," she said. "We've been in survival mode."
The City of Aurora held the combined birthday party three times before the pandemic hit and they had to put things on pause. This year was the first the city was able to bring it back.
"Really, I know it is for 1-year-olds, but the 3-year-old, when we decided to come to the birthday party," said grandmother Sherry Tater. "She was just so happy. She said 'cake!'"
Isabelle Biesemier lined up with her fellow centenarians for a photo before a big surprise, a city proclamation for each of them, turning their birthday into an official city celebration.
"It's wonderful," Biesemier said. "I never dreamed of anything like this would happen to me. Of course, I never dreamt I'd live this long either."
So what was Biesemier's advice to everyone else in the room?
"To be honest, to tell the truth," she said. "Believe in God and be kind."
It was a message to live by from the 100-year-old birthday girl to everyone.
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