Easter activities draw families to Vail Valley
Sunday’s SpringFest Schedule
Beaver Creek Village
3-6 p.m.: SpringFest Characters (Plaza)
3:30-5:30 p.m.: Kids’ Creation Station Tent (Plaza)
3:30 & 4:30 p.m.: Kids Stage Performances
4 p.m.: SpringFest Kids’ Parade (Plaza)
6-8 p.m.: American Juke Box Skate Night (Ice Rink)
BEAVER CREEK — After 20 years of organizing Easter activities, Brian Hall has learned a thing or two about the art of the hunt.
On Saturday, Hall and his wife Eileen organized activities for 1,000 or so kids at Beaver Creek’s Easter Egg Hunt/Easter Bunny photo op. With every kid finding at least one Easter egg and a neat and organized line to meet the Easter Bunny queued all the way back up to Beaver Creek Village from Creekside Park, the event was a smash success.
“Every year we’re learning,” Hall said. “Instead of having 500 kids out here going bonkers, now we send in 20 to 25 kids into a zone at a time, which is a little safer and a little less stressful on the parents,” Hall said Saturday. “It took us a half hour to go through four or five hundred kids. We were rocking.”
Although it was a Saturday Easter Egg Hunt, many were dressed in their Sunday best. Bunny rabbit face paintings and Easter Fairy-themed costumes were among the hits.
Ten-year-old Jair Perez, of Edwards, was among those out gathering Easter eggs with his twin brother, Jael, sisters Rebecca and Karina and baby brother Giovanni. He said for his age group, the hunt was actually quite competitive and he had to dash as fast as he could into the zone get his eggs.
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“I started kicking up some sand and found one right away,” he said.
The Perez family usually celebrates Easter in Avon, but decided to head up to Beaver Creek with the kids this year.
“There were a lot of people there like us. It was really fun,” Karina Perez said following the event. “They gave us candy and bunny ears and we got our picture taken with the Easter bunny.”
Hall said families like the Perezes creating fond memories over a holiday weekend are one of the reasons he enjoys the work so much.
“I remember when I was a kid and my parents would take us to the mall to meet the Easter Bunny, and they would give you the paper ears,” Hall said. “It was always a lot of fun; my brother and I used to put them upside down so we looked like walruses. We found the same paper ears for the kids out here today.”
The Gonzalez family — Jackie and Arturo and their kids Yahir, 10, Brian, 8, and Giovanni, 1, — also celebrated their first Easter at Beaver Creek.
“The kids seemed like they were having a lot of fun,” Jackie Gonzalez said. “We came in from Denver. I’m glad we did.”
But not all the families visiting the Vail Valley were so focused on Easter on Saturday. For the Ansari family of Fishers, Ind., the question wasn’t, “Where is the Easter parade,” as it was for the Gonzalezes.
“Where is the good snow?” Asif Ansari asked as he toured the valley floor on Saturday with his wife Faiza and children Malaika, 10, Anushay, 14, and Zaid, 17.
Asif Ansari said he was excited to go up in elevation about 3,000 feet and see what is in store.
“We’re staying until Thursday. We’ll get four days on the mountain,” he said. “We’re very happy to be here.”
Hall and the Beaver Creek Children’s Theater will put on an Easter parade and celebration Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. in Beaver Creek village, with the Kids’ Parade scheduled for 4 p.m.
“They have instruments, flags, and we march through the plaza and march back” Hall said. “Also part of the celebration will be a visit from Professor Birdwhistle, and Popi The Clown will be doing magic and jiggling.”
There will also be a kids “Creation Station” where kids will be shown how to make spring flowers and bugs out of pipe cleaners. Although kids are the focus of the fun — the Easter Egg Hunt was capped off at children age 12 — Hall says you’re never too old to enjoy the occasion, especially from a behind the scenes role, where you’ll receive a whole new perspective on the immense amount of work involved in putting the celebration together.
“One really nice touch is when the kids come back to work the event,” said Hall, whose 13-year-old son helped set up the Easter Egg Hunt this year. “One family went through and saw the Easter bunny and the mom came up to me and said ‘My daughter has been coming here for 10 years, and she’s really sad this is her last year because she’s going to be 13.’ I said ‘It doesn’t have to be her last year, next year she can come and help work the event.’ And that’s the case with so many people out here working.’”