Getting To Know The Easter Bunny

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The children that attend the Village Easter Egg Hunt may change and grow every year, but there’s one familiar figure you can always count on—the Easter Bunny.

 For the many attendees who come to the village egg hunt, seeing the Easter Bunny garners an instant smile. Taking pictures with him is a tradition cherished by many and kids scramble to give him a hug or high-five.EasterBunny_040115AThe village Easter Bunny’s identity has remained a mystery for more than 10 years. But the man in the suit has perfected the art of being the friendly, lovable bunny who never runs out of high-fives or hugs, and is always ready to hand out a treat or pose for a photo.

The bunny bought his suit at a garage sale for $50, initially using it for his kids’ birthday parties. Once his kids got older and could no longer go to the Easter egg hunt, he offered his suit to the village to use.

“They said thank you, but that they needed someone to fill it,” he recalls.

The costume itself comes with its challenges. The head alone is three to four feet tall and once the ears come on, the bunny stands at about seven feet. The person inside the costume wears a special suit to add girth, and the fur is about an inch thick.

“Inside it’s probably about 90 degrees. It’s very hot,” he said.

This Saturday, the Westbury resident will don the costume once again to bring joy to the dozens of children who attend the egg hunt.

“You’re there and you’re being swarmed by kids. It’s a lot of waving, hand-shaking and playing peek-a-boo,” he said.

The bunny also has to pose for dozens of pictures. In recent years, an assistant has accompanied the bunny to keep the line moving.

“Sometimes the parents get a little pushy,” he said. “The parents want to create a tradition for their kids and are more enthusiastic [than their kids] of the bunny. You hear the most interesting things inside that costume.”

And even though it can get tiring posing for pictures in the very hot costume, the bunny says it’s a terrific experience every year.

“I love that feeling of being a rock star for an hour with the affection and love that the little kids can give you,” he said. “It’s always a nice experience.”

This year (2017), the Village of Westbury Egg Hunt takes place at the Recreation Center on Saturday, April 8, with registration starting at 9:30 a.m. Children ages 3 to 4 hunt for eggs at 10 a.m., followed by 5 and 6 year olds at 10:20, 7 and 8 year olds at 10:40, and 9 and 10 year olds at 11 a.m. Call the Recreation Center at 516-334-5560 to register and for more information. 

 

A version of this article was originally published in The Westbury Times in March 2015. 

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