By Lofton Wheeles
For the Opelika Observer
Opelika Parks and Recreation is hosting its annual Easter on the Square event this Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m.
Easter on the Square is the organization’s annual Easter event. However, the event will be a bit different than from years past due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Opelika Parks and Recreation Public Relations Coordinator Laura Leigh Chesser detailed what it’s like to plan this event due to that reason.
“It’s required a lot of creativity,” she said. “We’ve had to pivot a few times. We didn’t have this event last year because COVID-19 hit right before we [were supposed to have] our event and so we had to take last year off.
“So, we’ve had a year to learn and, along with everyone else, figure this thing out and, a lot of times, think of how to offer these events in a safe atmosphere for everyone in a safe environment. It’s not ideal, and we hate that we can’t do all of the stuff that we normally love doing, but we figure that most people would rather have something than nothing at all and so we’re going offer what we can and hope for the best.”
This event is Opelika Parks and Recreation’s first big event since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Chesser.
“We’re really excited to getting back to doing [big events],” she said. “It’s still not ideal and it’s still not exactly how we want it, but just to be able to do something to provide for the community because we know right now it’s so needed.
“A lot of kids especially have had a tough year, especially if you have young kids. They don’t remember not being in a house, they don’t remember not being able to go places and do things. So, to provide a new experience for them and the ones that are little bit older [and] provide something that lets them get out, interact and have fun while being safe, that’s really good and our goal is to provide recreation and fun for the community and knowing that we get to do that again is really exciting for us.”
Some parts of previous Easter on the Square events were nixed for this year to adhere to social distancing guidelines to keep the attendees safe.
“We’re just trying to decrease the crowd and the traffic as much as possible so we can still provide a safe atmosphere for everyone who wishes to attend,” Chesser said. “It is just going to be the egg hunt and that’s going to look a little bit different too. Typically, we have three different hunt areas for three different age groups and they all happen at the same time, but this year we’re going to do those one at a time to kind of just help with the crowding.”
Each wave will be in the 30-minute increments, according to Chesser. The toddler age group will hunt at 10 a.m., the four-year-old to kindergarten age group will hunt at 10:30 a.m. and the first and second grade age group will hunt at 11 a.m.
For more information about the event, call Laura Leigh Chesser at (334) 705-5567.