LIMA — After a long and bitter winter, the area is starting to think spring.
Easter-centered events have started to spring up throughout the area. Apollo Career Center hosted a pancake breakfast Saturday morning, part of its “EGGcellent Adventure,” including the Bunny Bolt 5K Run/Walk and children’s activities. Families also had the opportunity to participate in an egg hunt featuring 10,000 eggs on the front lawn of the school. Included in the prizes was a family trip to Walt Disney World.
Visitors to the Lima Mall got their first look at the Easter Bunny this year, sitting with children for photographs.
“We’ve been getting a decent turnout,” said Brian Tierney, operation surpervisor for the Lima Mall. “I’m not sure how it compares to Christmas, but it’s been a good crowd. We’ve had quite a few there already, from what I’ve seen.”
With Easter still two weeks away, Tierney was postive that there would be even more demand for photos with the iconic figure.
“As it gets closer to Easter, there will be more people coming out,” he said.
Children waiting in line were able to participate in holiday crafts from 10 a.m. until noon, including painting and coloring holiday-themed pictures. Festive frames were also available for purchase to go along with the children’s picture with the Easter Bunny.
The mall is also planning a special event on April 13, one that will be geared to children with special needs.
“The Caring Bunny event is for autistic children,” Tierney said. “They come in before the mall opens. Apparently, some sensory triggers for autistic children are people and lights, so we keep the lights off and, of course, there are no people in here, so they can avoid those triggers.”
This is not the first time the mall has held this event during the Easter season, but according to Tierney, the participation has not been very high so far.
“We’re hoping to get more,” he said. “It’s a great program, and I’m hoping we get more people and get some more success with it.”
One parent who braved the Saturday lines was Molly Spieles. She brought her two daughters, ages 4 and 6, to the photo shoot.
“The girls have been looking forward to it,” she said. “They were excited to come meet him today. We had one that was shy and one that was brave.”
Saturday’s event marked the kickoff for one of the Spieles family’s favorite holidays.
“Easter is a big holiday for us,” Spieles said. “Of course, Jesus is a big part of it, but so is the Easter Bunny, so they were excited to see him.”
She did note that there may have been another reason the girls were happy to see the Easter Bunny.
“They always like getting those little candy treats he passes around,” she said.