Easter Bunny makes appearance in Montecito
Families from the Santa Barbara area gathered at the Montecito Country Mart on Saturday to get their close-up with everyone’s favorite rabbit — the Easter Bunny.
After a year of limited festivities due to COVID-19, Ingrid Harris and her children, Heidi, 8, and Eli, 5, were happy to be out enjoying Easter traditions once again.
“(This Easter) is more exciting than last year because things have started to open up,” Ms. Harris told the News-Press. “We’re just going to have a small dinner at our house (to celebrate). We just came from church and had an Easter egg hunt, which is more than we had last year.”
Pictures with the Easter Bunny are a longstanding tradition at the Montecito Country Mart, but like so many other festivities, the photos were canceled last year due to the pandemic. Now that they are back again, Montecito Country Mart Manager Kristin Teufel said families are excited to have a safe activity to celebrate the holiday with their kids.
“People have been really happy that we’re doing something,” Ms. Teufel told the News-Press. “I think everyone is really looking forward to getting back to some kind of normalcy. The feedback has been fantastic … I think people are looking for activities to get out of the house and we’re making it safe with the social distancing and sanitizing.”
The proceeds from Saturday’s event benefitted Baby2Baby, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that provides diapers, clothing and other necessities to families living in poverty. Ms. Teuful said it is standard for the Country Mart to host events that give back to the community, especially around the holidays.
The philanthropic aspect of this event is what led Alicia Gerbac to bring her young daughter, Layla, to see the Easter Bunny on Saturday. She said she was happy the Country Mart was giving back to Baby2Baby and was excited to be a part of Easter festivities again after a year of restrictions.
“Last Easter, we didn’t have anyone over at all, just me and my husband and Layla, but this year, we’re having our families and cousins over, so it looks a little bit different,” Ms. Gerbac told the News-Press. “(The holiday) is more special this year.”
Each family who came for photos with the Easter Bunny signed up for a timeslot in advance, and at the start of the day, Ms. Teful said about 150 families had signed up for a photo-op. With families who registered late, upwards of 200 community members got their photo with the Bunny by the end of the day.