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Airdrie boy’s birthday turns into community celebration after initial invites go unanswered

Carson Horlacher celebrated his birthday Sunday surrounded by hundreds of people in Airdrie after no one RSVP'd to the autistic boy's initial invite.

Airdrie’s Carson Horlacher celebrated his birthday Sunday surrounded by hundreds of people — but that wasn’t the original plan.

The now-nine-year-old autistic boy had initially invited a number of classmates to his party. However, when no one RSVP’d, plans had to change.

“I’ve never been this famous before,” Carson told CityNews at his celebration.

A picture of Carson Horlacher at his birthday party in Airdrie near Calgary (Jillian Code, CityNews Photo)

“We waited for the RSVP date and nobody got back to us, so I was frustrated and upset and vented on Facebook group Airdrie Dads, and within an hour or two I just had probably 100 kids … or parents that wanted to bring their kids,” said Dustin Horlacher, Carson’s dad.

After that, Big Fun Inflatable Park reached out with plans to take the party to a whole new level while raising money for Autism Calgary.

“Then one thing led to another and now we have this big birthday bash that lots of people came, raised some money, and met lots of cool families and awesome kids,” Dustin added.

In the end, nearly 200 kids showed up to the inclusive party. Some children, like Carson, are also autistic and had similar experiences in the past.

Overall, the party made for a perfect setting to build new friendships.


“Oliver and Xander became my new friends… and today… the best birthday party ever,” Carson told CityNews.

“He never had so many kids come up and just be nice to him, so it’s just amazing,” his dad added.


The birthday boy had a busy day testing out all of the attractions.

“Except I can’t get into the money machine,” Carson said.

He was able to take a whirl in the machine at the end of the day — a cherry on top of what was already a celebration to remember. Also, he’s already got plans for next year.


“Same popularness, same funness, everything same,” Carson said.