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ROLESVILLE — The Easter Bunny will be hopping through Rolesville neighborhoods Saturday morning.
The Rolesville Egg Rush was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the town's Parks and Recreation Department still wanted to bring joy to families, according to director J.G. Ferguson.
"We wanted to offer something where we stayed within the guidelines of the county and the state, but bring something positive and give kids something to look forward to," he said. "We want to put smiles on kids' faces. That's what we're here for."
The Easter Bunny will be dancing in a town vehicle while families watch from driveways and vehicles. The parade starts at 9 a.m. and will travel 18 miles before noon.
"We tried to get to as many subdivisions as possible. The route covers the majority of the subdivisions towards Main Street," Ferguson said. "We'd love to go to every street and hit every neighborhood, but three hours is a long time and we have to think about the safety of our volunteers."
If the Bunny does not go through a subdivision, Ferguson recommends the residents go to the nearest subdivision that is part of the parade and park along the parade route without blocking driveways.
Granite Falls Boulevard between Rogers Road and McKensie Lane may be a good place to park because there aren't homes nearby, Ferguson said.
Parks and recreation departments across the state are having to be creative to find ways to engage citizens while also observing social distancing, he said.
"We can't do the same stuff we've always done," Ferguson said. "We miss that public engagement, but we're still trying to put smiles on people's faces from a distance."
He hopes people enjoy the opportunity to be outside while doing something outside the norm. He also wants citizens to realize the town and its employees truly care about them.
"We're here for them and will do anything we can to bring them a smile," Ferguson said.
In addition to the Bunny Hop, Parks and Rec has also put up a background with the Easter Bunny, so families can edit themselves into the picture.
"For a lot of families, this is the first time their young children haven't had the opportunity to get their pictures made with the bunny. We wanted to give them that option while observing social distancing," Ferguson said.
The backdrops and other virtual programming can be found online at http://www.rolesvillenc.gov/parks-recreation/virtual-programming.
"We've been trying to push our virtual programming. There's links to arts and crafts and at home athletic resources," Ferguson said. "We want people who do (virtual programming) to take pictures and tag us in it. ... We want to hear what's working, and we want to hear what they'd like us to research and add to that list."
The estimated Bunny Hop schedule: