Parks and Rec offers new Easter event
Over 200 children converged on Sam Michael’s Park last Saturday to take part in the first ‘Hoppin’ Down the Bunny Trail’ event. Redesigned from previous years’ Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, this year’s event offered a half mile Bunny Trail for participants to traverse, gathering prizes along the way.
As the children made their way from the starting line, they found themselves at various stops along the trail where they participated in activities including an egg roll, a giant slide, balance beams and an art project.
Easton Mennear, 7, of Charles Town, said the event was fun.
“The egg roll was not hard,” he said.
His little sister, Irelyn, age 5, could not agree.
“It was so hard to carry,” she quipped.
The change in focus from candy-filled eggs and a breakfast with the bunny is part of a move the Parks and Recreation department is making toward healthier living.
“We’ve been talking about making this type of change,” said Director Jennifer Myers. “We are about recreation and activity and we are looking at more and more ways to promote that,” she said.
Terri Burhans, community development staffer, who worked on the project, said Saturday’s event was a partnership with West Virginia University Medicine.
“Working with WVU Medicine, we are hoping to be a leader in the community for health and wellness,” Burhans said. “Today’s event is all about physical activity outside and healthy foods.”
As each participant found his or her way to the end of the Bunny Trail, he or she was met by the Easter Bunny who posed for photos and helped present medals to all who completed the course.
Following the outdoor activities, children gathered in the community center’s gymnasium to enjoy healthy snacks including bananas, apples, veggies and dip, and popcorn. The Rainbow Rock Band provided entertainment as children danced on mats and jumped in bouncy houses.
Several businesses partnered for the event, offering prizes that were given out as part of the festivities. Chick-Fil-A in Ranson, River Riders and the Old Opera House in Charles Town all provided gifts for the random drawings.
“The generosity of these partners is something that allows us to provide such a successful and fun event,” Myers said. “We are so grateful to each of them, especially WVU-Medicine for their help in making this a healthy and active event. We are looking forward to having even more children participate next year.”