Guards were deployed at a closing care home to stop "too many" people going to an 84-year-old's birthday party.
Don Robson, who is the last remaining resident at Newtown House in Stanhope, County Durham, was staging a sit-in in protest at its closure.
His family advertised his party via social media and Durham County Council employed guards to turn people away.
It said it had given the family notice that numbers would be restricted because of security concerns.
Mr Robson's daughter-in-law, Michelle Robson, said she was disgusted when friends arrived and had to stand in the car park during the celebrations.
A Durham County Council spokeswoman said security had been drafted in because the celebration had been advertised via social media and it was feared too many people would turn up posing a security risk.
The family's social media post urged former pupils of Mr Robson - a former head teacher at Woodham Burn Primary School in Newton Aycliffe - to come on his birthday which was held on the last day of his protest.
Mr Robson said: "I'm going to cry I'm so worked up. I didn't think this would happen, but life goes on."
The council decided to close its last remaining homes in April because it said they were not value for money.
A spokeswoman said: "Mrs Robson has declined to take responsibility for managing numbers and said she was not able to predict how many people may come.
"Given the wide publicity, we let the family know yesterday that we would have to take reasonable security measures to ensure the safety of Mr Robson and staff."