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Festival to feature egg hunt, Easter Bunny and more

By Staff | Apr 16, 2019

This weekend’s 25th annual Spring Festival will offer holiday fun for families on the islands.

Hosted by the Children’s Education Center of the Islands, it will take place on April 20 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Sanibel Community Park, located adjacent to The Community House. It will feature an egg hunt and photos with the Easter Bunny, a bounce house and giant slide, pony rides, games and more.

“This is our way of bringing communities together and families together,” CECI Director Cindy DeCosta said. “It also helps support our scholarship program, which this year was highly relied on as a lot of families were affected by the lack of tourism because of the red tide.”

The free Easter egg hunt will start promptly at 9 a.m., so families should arrive early.

She explained that the hunt is divided into three age groups and no reservations are required.

“They just show up,” DeCosta said. “Bring a basket.”

The oldest age group will go first, with the youngest group going last.

“For the older group, there will be shiny dollar gold coins provided by the Bank of the Islands,” she said. “And, of course, there will also be candy and stickers and trinkets.”

For access to the rest of the festival’s activities, armbands are $15 per child; adults are free.

The Easter Bunny will hop in for a visit at 10:15 a.m.

“There will be an appearance, with free pictures,” DeCosta said.

The activities will include pony rides, a bounce house and giant slide, and face painting.

“There are games and crafts,” she said. “Like a bean bag toss or a fishing game. Also scratch art, spin art, making edible Easter necklaces.”

Local musicians Shawn and Abbey Allison will provide live entertainment.

Helping to raise additional funds, a silent auction will feature a mix of items to bid on.

“There’s usually about 50 baskets with varying values,” DeCosta said, adding that there will be offerings aimed at both adults and children. “We’ll have work from local artists, Congress Jewelers jewelry, gift certificates to local restaurants.”

In addition, raffles tickets will be sold for $1 each to win an Easter basket.

“It’s geared toward children,” she said of the goodies inside.

Snow cones, hot dogs, drinks and such will be available, with the proceeds also going to the CECI.

“Some concessions will be available for purchase,” DeCosta said.

The armbands can be bought day of at the event or in advance by stopping by the center.

“So they don’t have to wait in a long line,” she said.

Families are encouraged to come out and enjoy the festivities.

“It’s a safe enclosed place where your children can go and have fun,” DeCosta said. “There’s various games suited for children ages 12 and under, and it all supports the local preschool.”

For more information, visit www.childrenseducationcenter.com or call 239-472-4538.

Sanibel Community Park is at 2231 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.