Panama City Beach – Bay hopping with 2010 Easter activities

PANAMA CITY BEACH — Kids looking to stuff their colorful Easter baskets with goodies this year will have several opportunities today, April 3, 2010.

Recreation officials in Panama City Beach say the Easter Bunny is planning to visit the festival site at Frank Brown Park with 9,000 eggs this year. The Easter egg hunt begins at 10 a.m. sharp with sign-in starting at 9:30 a.m., said Cheryl Joyner, staff member with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Kids are asked to be ready and on time for the sixth annual event.

“It doesn’t take long” for the colorful candy-filled plastic eggs to be found at the free event, Joyner said. “The children clean it out fast.”

Children from 2 to 10 years old are invited, and photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny will be available, she said.  There also will be three prize eggs hidden for each age group of 2-4 years, 5-7 years and 8-10 years.  Any prize egg can be redeemed for an Easter basket chock full of treats.

A community picnic and “buddy” egg hunt for children with special needs is planned for Aaron Bessant Park in Pier Park. Families are urged to bring their own picnic baskets and chairs for the 10:30 a.m. event.

Also at Pier Park, an Easter Egg Scramble will be held from noon to 2 p.m. at the newly opened “Miracle Strip at Pier Park.” Candy-filled plastic eggs will be available for three age groups, 2-4 years, 5-7 years and 8-10 years.

For those wanting to get a little sand between their toes, a “Little Locals Beach Easter Egg Hunt” is planned for Schooners on Gulf Drive along the beach. Registration is from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and space is limited. Egg hunts will be held for kids 2 years and younger at 10 a.m., for ages 3-4 at 10:30 a.m., for ages 5-6 at 11 a.m. and for ages 7-9 at 11:30 a.m.

Grand prize eggs will be awarded in each category at Schooners, and a large Easter-themed sand sculpture created by Sanding Ovations will be on hand for viewing. The restaurant opens at 10 a.m.

In Panama City, a 5K “rabbit race” and half-mile “bunny hop” will be held downtown, hosted by the Junior Service League of Panama City. Registration begins at the Marina Civic Center at 8 a.m.  Medals will be given to all 5K finishers under age 12. Prizes will be given to the top three finishers in male and female age groups.

Panama City police say Beach Drive will be closed to traffic from Harrison Avenue to West Caroline from 8 a.m. until noon for the event. Motorists are asked to use 11th Street between Beck Avenue and Harrison Avenue, police officials said.

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