If you think Santa and his elves are busy during the Christmas season, check out what the Easter Bunny and his large band of helpers have scheduled for Easter Sunday on the southern Kenai Peninsula.
Actually, preparations begin before the sun rises Easter morning. Sherry Parish and her crew from the Emblem Club in Homer gather Saturday to dye 120 dozen eggs they hide Sunday for youngsters.
“It only takes a couple of hours,” said Parish of the egg dying. “We’ve got it down to a science.”
Of course, that doesn’t count the time it took to cook the eggs before Parish and her friends get together.
Prior to the Easter Bunny’s arrival by Maritime Helicopter at 1 p.m. Sunday, the Elks
serve brunch to the public from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
After the bunny’s arrival, youngsters are divided into four age groups — ages 0-2, 3-5, 6-7 and 8-10 — and take turns hunting outdoors for the 120 dozen dyed eggs, beginning with the youngest ages.
“Bring a basket and your boots and your coat, depending on what the weather’s doing,” said Parish.
The Easter Bunny also is available for having a free photo taken with the young egg-hunters.
The Easter excitement at Carl E. Wynn Nature Center marks the last of the weekly fun-for-all-ages, winter bonfires held at the center, which is owned and operated by the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. The difference on Easter is that there are some special activities planned, including egg dying and an egg hunt.
“It’s happening in and around
the cabin for the younger kids,” said Beth Trowbridge, CACS director, adding that Jenni Medley, the center educator, may also hide some eggs along the trails to make it a bit more challenging for older Easter egg hunters.
“And then, as usual, you can snowshoe, if there’s enough interest you can go sledding and there’s the bonfire,” said Trowbridge.
The event is from 2-4 p.m., with the Easter egg hunt promptly at 2:30 p.m. Hot dogs and s’mores are part of the fun.
In Anchor Point, the flurry of pre-holiday activity includes cooking, dying and hiding eggs — 100 dozen eggs, to be exact — at VFW Post 10221.
“We have little Easter bunnies a couple days before Easter that are dying the eggs,” said Jennifer Henley of the VFW. “We have a stove full of kettles. There are kettles and eggs everywhere.”
The VFW team of Easter helpers has been organizing this popular event for years.
“The VFW celebrated 30 years of being a charter member last year and, to the best of my knowledge, we’ve been doing this as long as the lodge has been a charter member,” said Henley. “It’s a joyous event for us.”
On Easter afternoon, youngsters are divided into three age groups to hunt for the hundreds of eggs in
specified areas around the lodge. In addition to the dyed eggs, there are plastic eggs filled with candy, 10 money eggs that can be redeemed for cash prizes and there are eggs that have “prize” written on them and can be exchanged for one of the many prizes available.
Cupcakes and beverages help refresh the hard-hunting youngsters. Henley reminded everyone to dress for the weather, which could be anything from snow and ice to rain and mud puddles.
In Ninilchik, American Legion Post 18 serves brunch on the last Sunday of the month, which this year coincides with Easter. The brunch is open to the public and will help fill tummies prior to the arrival of the Easter Bunny and an egg hunt for youngsters age 0-12.
“Brunch is from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.,” said Tony Rea, post manager, of the meal that includes eggs, hash browns, bacon, biscuits and gravy.
“And there are goodie baskets for each youngster. It should be a good time.”
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family friendly Easter events on the southern Kenai Peninsula
Easter Sunday March 29
American Legion Post 18
Sterling Highway, Ninilchik
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Easter brunch,
open to the public, $8
2 p.m.: Begin gathering
for Easter egg hunt and visit
with Easter Bunny
2:30 p.m.: Easter egg hunt
for ages 0-12.
Carl E. Wynn Nature Center
1.5 Mile Skyline Drive, Homer
235-6667 (Center for Alaskan
2-4 p.m.: Egg dying, Easter egg hunt, bonfire, outdoor activities for the family. Egg hunt begins promptly at 2:30 p.m.
Elks Lodge, 215 Jenny Way, Homer
10 a.m.-1 p.m.: Easter brunch,
open to the public, $12 for adults,
$6 for ages 6-12, free for ages
5 and younger.
1 p.m.: Easter Bunny arrives by helicopter, followed by Easter egg hunt for youngsters age 0-10; have your
photo taken with the Easter Bunny.
VFW Lodge 10221
Milo Fritz Road, Anchor Point
2 p.m.: Children’s Easter egg hunt with lots of prizes and snacks.