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Five-year-old Foxborough boy surprised with birthday parade

One of Macklin Boyd's friends yells "happy birthday!" from a drive-by birthday parade.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

Macklin Boyd’s 5th birthday party was supposed to be a Transformers themed cookout with a bouncy house filled with his friends. But when the party was canceled due to the spread of COVID-19, Macklin’s family came up with a birthday surprise that was both special and safe.

A fire truck and race car pulled up in front of Macklin’s Foxborough home Wednesday morning, along with cars carrying his friends and signs scribbled with messages from “Happy birthday!” to “Can’t wait to see you!”

“He was so ecstatic,” said Macklin’s mom, Ashley Boyd. “He said it’s the best surprise he’s ever had.”

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Macklin and his mom wave to his friends as they drive by. Lane Turner/Globe Staff

His grandmother, Lauri Ungar, came up with the idea after she found out her grandson couldn’t have his first big birthday party.

“My daughter calls me on the way to his preschool every morning and Macklin gets all excited if they see an ambulance or fire engines," Ungar said. "I was trying to think of something we could do for his birthday where he didn’t have to be exposed to any other kids and this just popped into my mind.”

Ungar called the Foxborough Fire Department and asked if they could surprise Macklin on April 1, his birthday.

“He was really happy to see the firetruck. He wants to be a firefighter,” Boyd said.

Macklin also got to see Nick Schmall, his favorite race car driver at the Seekonk Speedway. His mom said the family visits the speedway just about every weekend.

Macklin smiles for pictures with his favorite local car racing team, 508 Racing of Seekonk. Lane Turner/Globe Staff

Ungar said her grandson loves every sport. Macklin has already been doing karate for a couple of years and is working toward his orange belt.

“He’s all signed up for baseball with the little kids,” Ungar said. “He loves playing with his friends outside and things like that.”

Ungar has been undergoing treatments for multiple sclerosis and couldn’t be there when her grandson saw the surprise.

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“I worked so hard and I couldn’t see it in person, but that’s OK," Ungar said. "It was fun work.”

The parade of cars carrying Macklin's friends drives by his house. Lane Turner/Globe Staff

Caroline Enos can be reached at caroline.enos@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @CarolineEnos.