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15EasterThe Easter Bunny will pay an early visit to Hope Mills this year. Local families will get the opportunity to enjoy breakfast with him, and it won’t be rabbit food on the menu.

The Hope Mills Parks & Recreation Department will offer Breakfast with the Easter Bunny on Saturday, April 6, at the recreation center’s main building on Rockfish Road.

The event is similar to the Breakfast with Santa held last December, but now that the recreation center has been repaired following hurricane damage last fall, the event will move back to the recreation center after being temporarily held at the main Hope Mills fire station.

Meghan Freeman, special events programs assistant director for the town, said Breakfast with the Easter Bunny in Hope Mills dates back 10 years or more.

Freeman said the event is another of the town’s efforts to give families with children a chance to enjoy fun quality time together. Last December’s Breakfast with Santa was a big success, and Freeman is hoping for similar results with Breakfast with the Easter Bunny.

There is one small difference between the two events. While Breakfast with Santa offered a meal and a chance to meet with Santa Claus, Breakfast with the Easter Bunny will be followed by an Easter egg hunt at the Hope Mills Municipal Park fields 1 and 2.

While tickets to the breakfast are $6, the egg hunt is free. Anyone can come to the hunt, but attendance at the breakfast will be capped at the first 200 tickets sold.

The breakfast runs from 8:30-11 a.m. and has a menu that includes pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon and juice.

The Easter egg hunt, following the breakfast, has an age limit from 1 to 10, Freeman said. When the hunt begins, she said, the youngsters will be divided up in three different age groups.

Children ages 1-3 will begin hunting for the eggs at 11:15 a.m. The 4-6 age group will start at 11:30 a.m. Children ages 7-10 will hunt beginning at 11:45 a.m.

The children ages 1-3 will begin hunting on Field 1, with the children ages 4-6 going on Field 2. After the first group has finished, additional eggs will be hidden and the final group of children ages 7-10 will hunt on Field 1.

Freeman said plastic eggs will be used that will contain either candy or, in some cases, small prizes.

In the event of rain, the egg hunt will be moved indoors to the recreation center gymnasium.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how many people are going to come out,’’ Freeman said. “At a lot of events recently, our numbers have increased. Hopefully, we’ll continue the trend.

“I think it brings the whole community together. It’s a great plus for us. You can’t beat it.’’

Reservations and advanced payment for tickets are required for the breakfast. The deadline to sign up and pay is Monday, April 1. Children ages three and under will be admitted to the breakfast free of charge but must still be registered.

For further information about Breakfast with the Easter Bunny or the Easter egg hunt, contact the recreation department at 910-426-4109.

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