By Mike Lauterborn
(for Fairfield Citizen News)
Fairfield, CT – Families enjoyed an Easter preview Saturday morning April 16 and a very special visit from a long-eared, fuzzy celebrity.
Over 75 people braved overcast skies and chilly temperatures to visit the Connecticut Audubon Society Center at 2325 Burr Street to take part in the facility’s 16th annual Egg Hunt. Targeted to children eight years old and under, the event also included a continental breakfast, spring crafts, interactions with live animals and a visit from the Easter Bunny.
Joan Winter, the Center’s publicist, remarked, “This is a lovely event, a sweet activity for young families to do with their small children. It’s special in its simplicity – low-key, calm and happy. I wish it was warmer this morning, but it’s still a great way to kick off the season. The crafts allow kids to be creative and the live animals are always popular. Besides all the activities, we have centerpieces of spring grasses in containers that kids can decorate and take home. What’s nice is the involvement of our teen animal care volunteers, many of whom were visitors as kids like these children today. They learn to be good stewards of the environment.”
Angela Benzan, of Westport, with her husband Steve and daughters Mia, 7, and Chloe, 5, in tow, were early arrivals. “The children are so excited to be here and start Easter early,” she said. “They’ve brought their pails and are ready to go.”
Kristin Brebbia, of Fairfield, with husband Joel and daughter Kenzie, 2, said the event was Kenzie’s first real Easter experience. “She’s a little scared of the Easter Bunny, but she’ll bounce back and have a good time today.”
The Taylor family, of Fairfield, were new to the area and thought the event would be a great way to meet other families, while being a fun outing. Said Amanda Taylor, “We wanted to come down and take part in the festivities and traditions.”
Watching his daughter Allie, 2, scramble for plastic eggs hidden amongst strands of straw in a garden area behind the facility, Martin Hripak said, “Allie’s mom is a teacher here, so we’re here a lot. Allie loves being outdoors. This is her first egg hunt. She’s excited.”
Guiding her three-year-old daughter on a craft project after the egg hunt had run its course, Sarah Sprague, of Norwalk, said, “Aubrey is in her element with the gluestick, crayons and blueberry muffin. It doesn’t get any better than this.”
In an adjacent room of the Center, Angelika Clum, eyed her daughter Nikki, 7, who had found a furry rabbit to pet. “We have a guinea pig and dog at home,” Clum said. “Nikki loves animals.”
“My favorite animal here is the bunny,” said Nikki, “though I got to pet the guinea pig, too. It was soft and cute and looked like our guinea pig, Mr. Nibbles.”
Dana Barnes, of Westport, and her daughter Chloe, 4, were collaborating on a coloring project. “It’s springtime and we really wanted to be outdoors and create a tradition with our daughter,” she said. “The egg hunt is a wonderful tradition and the crafts were an extra special treat. It’s something she loves and a chance for me to sit with her and create. This is nice for the whole family.”