Eggs here, eggs there, eggs, eggs were everywhere last Thursday afternoon, as children ran frantically through Humiston Park in search of goodies left by the Easter Bunny and his friends at Dale Sorensen Real Estate.
“The Vero Beach Easter Parade is all about the community and a celebration of Easter and spring,” said Dale Sorensen of the second annual Vero Beach Easter Parade, an eggstra-special event to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Indian River County.
The number of egg-hunters multiplied like rabbits in the course of just one year, but Sorensen was up to the challenge, quadrupling the number of eggs scattered about. An estimated 3,000 to 5,000 children searched high and low for 20,000 toy- and candy-filled eggs, along with a few rare eggs containing “golden” tickets for special prizes.
To keep things fair, the little chicks were sent out into the field to hunt and peck based on age. Young first-timers roamed the field contentedly clutching one egg in their little hands, while older, more experienced eggsters were eager to scoop up as many as they could, using such techniques as the snatch and run as well as thoughtful strategic plans.
Ocean Drive was flooded with families excitedly chattering over their hauls, baskets clutched firmly in hand. While waiting for the next phases of the festivities, children played in the park, had their photographs taken with the Easter Bunny, added a bit of flare with fairy hair and face paintings and busied themselves with crafts.
Later, participants paraded up and down a red carpet to show off the elaborate bonnets and bowties, they had either crafted themselves or purchased in the silent auction. Miles of spring-colored tulle and mountains of Easter basket grass topped the crowns of young and old alike on bonnets spruced up with eggs, bunnies, chicks and even marshmallow Peeps. Colorful flowers sprouted from egg cartons perched atop heads and strawberry baskets held little critters. Dashing bowties were festooned with flowers, polka dots and fringe.
Judges had to make some tough calls, but in the end “top” winners in the Bonnets and Bow Ties Parade were Jeanie White, Aislynn Puglise and James Puglise.
Next, more than 40 golf cart parade competitors, each more spectacular than the one before, added a Vero twist to their designs, with nautically-themed floats boasting whales and clownfish, flamingos, tiki huts, pineapples, alligators, turtles, fishing and surfing bunnies, and designs accented with blooming flowers made from tissue paper and balloons.
Brian and Dale Lieberman earned the title of Most Humorous with a cart that went a-fowl; the Most Easter Spirit award went to Georgann Schreiber for her au naturel take on an Easter wonderland; Ann Wallace in her mini golf cart was named Most Original; and Cathy Curley’s flamboyance of flamingos won Best of Vero Beach.
“Last year’s inaugural parade was such a huge success. The children had such a wonderful time,” said Matilde Sorensen, who came up with the idea for the parade. “It’s so enjoyable watching their faces light up.”