It was a good “hare” day for the Easter Bunny on Friday, as the community came out in full force to welcome him back after a two year pause caused by the pandemic. Merrittonians of all ages could be seen enjoying the festivities, which included games, a visit from the Easter Bunny, an egg hunt, a petting zoo, and a visit from Merritt’s Fire and Rescue Department.

Rotary Park was fairly full with a crowd larger than anything Merrittonians had likely seen since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which canceled the Easter Bunny’s 2020 and 2021 larger public appearances. Smiling faces and laughs were abundant throughout the two hour event on Easter Friday, with many commenting on the shared feeling of community and togetherness that many longed for in times of fire, flooding, and restrictions on social gatherings. 

“I think after COVID, fires, and the floods I think it’s great in a small town like this to get everybody back together again. I think that’s what Merritt is all about,” said Brent Morgan, who was attending with his son Braden. 

When asked what his favourite part of the day’s festivities was, Braden told the Herald it was “that everybody is happy, and the flood is gone and so are the fires.” 

This year’s egg hunt included two rounds of egg-collecting fun for all ages, one for those aged 5 and under, and one for those 5 and up. The energy was electric as youngsters and parents alike lined up and waited for their signal to grab as many chocolate eggs as they could. 

Along with the Easter Bunny, many Merritt Easter Eggstravaganza traditions and local favourites made their return. Crazy Creek’s petting farm featured baby goats and chickens, who seemed just as excited to be there as other event goers. 

The Merritt Fire and Rescue Department put their tech on full display, with many snagging the opportunity for a seat behind the wheel of one of the department’s fire engines. Chocolate eggs weren’t the only thing available for eats, with the concession also returning to offer its usual $1 popcorn and candy. 

“I think it was very successful, considering it was the first big event since the pandemic. I think we had a really great turnout, great weather, and lots of smiling faces,” said Jen Dougherty, Recreation Programmer for the City of Merritt.

Hosted by the City of Merritt’s Department of Recreation and Facilities, the event was one of Dougherty’s first in the community, and a positive experience.

“I’m newer to Merritt and I haven’t had the opportunity to meet a lot of people from here, so it was exciting to see the great turnout and it makes me excited to plan for future events.” 

While the department’s next planned community celebration will be Canada’s 155th anniversary of confederation, Dougherty added that many other projects are in the works. 
“We’re hoping to get more sports programs for both kids and adults up and going, and we also have Music in the Park that’s going to be happening on Thursday nights throughout the summer.” 

Those seeking more information on Department of Recreation and Facilities programming can call 250-315-1055, or visit the City’s website at