LUMBERTON — The Easter Bunny could be spotted in several precincts across the city on Monday, waving and distributing Easter eggs filled with candy, with plans to serve more than 450 people by the end of Tuesday.
The Bunny Mobile, driven by Street Superintendent of Public Works Jeffery Halliburton, made stops at homes in precincts 1, 6, 7 and 8 on Monday with plans to visit precincts 2 through 5 on Tuesday, said Courtney Rogerson, Special Events coordinator at Lumberton Recreation Department.
She “wanted to spread a little sunshine” after the city’s Easter egg hunt was canceled, and inviting the Easter Bunny to make home visits and wave to people all over Lumberton was the way to do it, Rogerson said.
She encourages people who see the Easter Bunny to snap a photo and tag Lumberton Recreation Department on social media.
People who registered for visits from the Easter Bunny by Friday would be visited Monday and Tuesday, she said. The events Monday and Tuesday would serve even more than the initial 450 people who registered.
People walking on sidewalks and sitting on porches waved Monday to the bunny, who was accompanied by members of Lumberton City Council who gave out Easter eggs along the route.
Councilman Eric Chavis, a Robeson County Sheriff’s deputy, provided back up for the bunny during his lunch break as they visited homes in Chavis’ Precinct 7.
“It was just a fun experience,” Chavis said.
He visited Tudor Court and other areas in his precinct, sharing candy and exchanging smiles with community members as the Bunny Mobile continued its trip.
Chavis said the coronavirus pandemic “put a damper on things,” but the Easter Bunny’s arrival created fun memories during a time that has been quite uncertain.
“Little things like this make a difference,” he said.
Tanglewood Elementary students were among children the Easter Bunny surprised with a visit on Monday. The bunny walked the school’s hallways on campus, peeked into classrooms and waved to students.
“They were just so excited when the bunny peeked in their classroom,” Rogerson said.
The Easter Bunny also waved to students learning remotely, Tanglewood Elementary Principal Shawn Feeko said.
“Their faces lit up,” she said.
Children in each classroom and on the playground were greeted by the special visitor, she said. Children were unable to see the bunny this past year because of the coronavirus.
Councilman Chavis said he’s interested in being involved in similar events in the future.
“This is just one of many,” Rogerson said of Easter Bunny visits to the city.
“The Lumberton Recreation Department wishes everyone a happy Easter!” she added.
Other Easter events in Lumberton and Fairmont on Saturday kicked off festivities leading up to Easter Sunday on April 4.
About 75 people attended the Town of Fairmont Recreation Department’s Egg Stravaganza Easter Egg Hunt at Fairmont Community Park. Children were given prizes that included Easter baskets and a share of close to 5,000 eggs hidden at the park.
Sudan Pirates fired their ship’s cannon to send children searching for eggs at the park hidden by many people, including town firefighters, said Jenny Larson, town clerk and Finance director.
Golden eggs contained surprises such as $2 and $5 bills, and gold dollars, said Mickey Williamson, director of the town’s Recreation department. Each child also received a gift basket filled with prizes and candy.
“It went really good,” Williamson said.
Members of Red Spirit Motorcycle Club also attended and helped make the event a success, he said. Robeson County Commissioner Pauline Campbell also was at the event.
Williamson said the event had “good participation and good workers” and he hopes to see another successful event next year.
Robeson County Strong Better Together’s Easter Egg Hunt on Oakgrove Church Road had about 75 participants, said group member Rodrick Wilkerson. He hopes the group plans other Easter egg events in the years to come.
In other Easter news, Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins announced over the weekend that his special deputy will make an appearance in the county later this week.
“Surprise appearances by Special Deputy Hopps will take place across the county Wednesday and Thursday. Be ready for a treat,” he said in a statement posted Sunday on Facebook.
Reach Jessica Horne at 910-416-5165 or via email at [email protected]