NORWOOD — While the coronavirus outbreak has canceled most visits and pictures with the Easter Bunny, one town is arranging for socially distant home visits from the bunny himself.
Parents who schedule visits online with the Norwood Recreation Department receive a call giving them the heads-up that the Easter Bunny is on his way.
Kids watch from a distance as the hopping and dancing rabbit spends a few minutes in their front yard, waving and tossing chocolate treats from their partner and local candy shop, Furlong's Candies.
Assistant Director of the Norwood Recreation Department, Katie Seastedt, who "knows" the Easter Bunny, tells Boston 25 News visiting residents' homes brings her as much joy as the families.
"We drop the candy off at the front door and then the Easter Bunny backs up like 10 to 12 feet. And that way, parents have been turning kids around with the Easter Bunny in the background," Seastedt said of giving parents a photo opportunity they didn't expect to get. "Some of the kids are playing hide-and-go-seek, some are dancing, some are crying, some are jumping for joy, like, I feel like we all just won the Super Bowl together."
Several parents recorded videos of their children waving to and dancing with the Easter Bunny as he made his rounds.
Amanda Jordan's daughter, Angelina, had been concerned she wouldn't get a chance to see him. But on Wednesday, she, too, was dancing in her front yard.
"Our daughter was really worried because of the corona, which is what she calls it at five years old, that the Easter Bunny wouldn't be able to show up because of social distancing," Jordan said. "We didn't think we were going to have anything, and we have photos with the same Easter Bunny for the past four years."
Participating families donate $20 to benefit the Norwood Food Bank. About $800 has been raised so far.
"I think it's wonderful. I think it's so outside-the-box," Jordan said. "I'm so proud of the town we live in and the fact that they care about the community and making sure that the kids have a sense of normalcy in such a difficult time."
By Thursday, 50 families had been visited. By Saturday, 80 families will have seen the Easter Bunny. Demand is so high that Thursday morning's time slot sold out in one minute.
"We're trying to get to as many families as possible," Seastedt said. "However, the Easter Bunny has other responsibilities. So we have to find a balance of being able to hop to houses as well as continue doing work."
Seastedt is considering asking the police department to provide an escort so the bunny can quickly pass by homes of families that don't get a visit.
Norwood residents hoping to schedule a visit can register with the recreation department at http://norwoodma.myrec.com and then receive an email with details.
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