Easter Bunny returns to region in coming weeks

  • Kaylani Rivas, 3, of Northampton, collects plastic Easter eggs March 31, 2018 during the three-and-four age category of the Eggstravaganza Egg Hunt at Look Memorial Park in Florence.

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 3/22/2021 4:35:02 PM

The Easter Bunny is hopping his way to the Monadnock region to meet children and hand out eggs this year. In most towns, visits will look different from previous years, with most traditional egg hunts swapped out for events like drive-thru meet-and-greets.

Rindge Recreation Department is moving ahead with a traditional egg hunt, after the event was canceled last year following the COVID-19 lockdown.

Rindge Recreation Director Dan Bemis said the event, scheduled for March 27, will have the same basic shape as previous years, with an egg hunt and pictures with the Easter Bunny, but there are multiple concessions that have been made to try to scale down the event and keep it outdoors as much as possible, due to COVID-19. This year, the event is for Rindge residents only, and indoor events like coloring and meeting the Easter Bunny have been canceled or moved outdoors.

“I think its important to provide community events in a safe and responsible way, whenever we can,” Bemis said. “I think everyone knows the challenges COVID has posed so far, and it has been challenging. So, any time you can provide an event that provides that social learning and an environment where kids can do something with their friends, in person, and not virtually, and it brings that sense of normalcy.”

Heather Schoff, who has coordinated Greenville’s Easter events, said last year, the town had to cancel its event, like most towns, but is rebooting it this year with a new idea. She said she wanted to avoid an egg hunt, which results in a large group of kids in close proximity, and instead implement something that allows for children to space out – a scavenger hunt.

“Things have been quieting down and we’re doing really well with our numbers. The kids are in school full time, and people are getting vaccinations, so it’s time for a baby step. We need these kids to have Easter,” Schoff said.

Schoff has organized a scavenger hunt with stations downtown for children to collect puzzle pieces, and present them to the Easter Bunny (a fully-vaccinated Schoff) for a prize. Schoff said it’s a new idea for Greenville, but she’s seeing the silver lining. Many Greenville children, she said, already attend New Ipswich’s annual egg hunt, which is held at the towns’ shared elementary school. The scavenger hunt, she said, is something different, and could become a town staple, if it’s successful this year.

“We’re slowly emerging from this darkness trying to figure out how to do these things,” Schoff said. “And if we do this the right way, and successfully, it might pave the way for how we can continue to do things this summer.”

 Nancy Feraco, owner  of Nelson’s Candy in Wilton is also bringing back a tradition which had to be canceled last year – pictures with the Easter Bunny. The event is outside in the Main Street Park next to the Nelson’s Candy store, not indoors, but will go on this year, Feraco said.

“I think people really want to be reassured that life is going to start becoming more normal again,” Feraco said. “It’s a baby step in getting back to normal. It wasn't going to happen last year. But people are out and about again. People are out and shopping and they’re ready for things like taking their kids to see the Easter Bunny, especially if they didn’t have any Bunny last year.”

Several towns are replacing the traditional egg hunt with a drive-through event, including Peterborough, New Ipswich and Jaffrey, both of which have scheduled events for parents to drive by stations to collect Easter treats and say hello to the Easter Bunny.

John Kohlmorgen, program coordinator for Peterborough Recreation Department, said drive-throughs have become a popular solution in the state, as a way to engage kids with as little risk as possible.

“We wanted to provide something, even if it wasn’t the traditional event,” Kohlmorgen said.

And the pre-registrations are already filling up, with about 50 families registered to attend, and the event still a week away, Kohlmorgen said.

“It’s different, but we’re still going to have a great turnout, and a great event,” Kohlmorgen said.

A list of public Easter events follows. 

GREENVILLE

April 3: Easter Bunny Visit, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Greenville Town Hall lawn. Short scavenger hunt, with stations with treats for children to put in their baskets, and a bigger treat from the Easter Bunny. Bring your own camera for photos and your own Easter basket. Masks and social distancing required. RSVP on “The Easter Bunny Visits Greenville” event on Facebook with how many children you are bringing.

JAFFREY

March 27: Easter Bunny Drive-Thru, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Conant High School. Drive by and say hello to the Easter Bunny and members of the Rindge Fire and Police Departments. Free event.

April 1-4: Easter Egg Window Hunt. Residents are encouraged to draw and decorate an Easter Egg for their home windows, and hang it on April 1-4. Families can walk or drive around town and see how many they spot.

NEW IPSWICH

March 27: Easter Drive-by Egg-stravaganza. 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., or 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. at Highbridge Hill Elementary School parking lot. Come by for eggs and a craft delivered to you by the Easter Bunny. Rain date of April 3. Masks are required.

PETERBOROUGH

March 27: Cottontail Drive-Thru Easter Event, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Peterborough Elementary School. Drive past decorated Easter treat stations and meet the Easter Bunny. Bring your own Easter basket. Free event, space is limited and reservations are required at peterboroughnh.myrec.com.

March 26 – April 4: Can you find Mr. Cottontail? Find eight brown bunnies on PRD properties. Bring found ones to the Rec office at 64 Union Street to claim a prize. Activity for children Grade 5 and younger, one bunny per family. Check the Rec Facebook page for start date announcement.

RINDGE

March 27: Annual Easter Egg Hunt, 10 a.m. sharp at Wellington Park, 283 Wellington Road. There will be a meet and greet and picture taking with the Easter Bunny at 9:30 a.m. and the egg hunt begins at 10 a.m. This event is open for Rindge children ages 1 through 10. There will be a separate search area for children ages 1 through 4. Please bring your own basket and camera for photos. This event is free. Masks and preregistration are required. Register at rindge.recdesk.com.

TEMPLE

March 28: Easter Eggs and Treats from the Easter Bunny, noon to 1 p.m. at the Temple Town Hall. Drive up and remain in your car and the Easter Bunny will wave and dance and guide goodies for kids to grab. RSVP at the Easter Eggs and Treats from the Easter Bunny event on the Temple NH Recreation Commission Facebook page.

WILTON

April 3: Visit with the Easter Bunny, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Main Street Park in Wilton. Nelson’s Candies will be sponsoring masked and safe visits with the Easter Bunny.


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