By Natalie MAIER and Maddy PUMILIA
Dilbeck Real Estate with other La Cañada Flintridge merchants sponsored the 18th annual Easter Celebration at Memorial Park in La Cañada on Saturday.
“It’s just a community event and it’s open to kids of all ages,” said Hana Lui, emcee for Easter in the Park. “What I really like about this is pretty much [all of La Cañada] shows up.”
The schedule included egg hunts for three different age groups (2-to-4 year-olds, 5-to-7 year-olds and the 8-to10 year olds) – no danger of the big kids trampling the little kids. Along with the egg hunt, each child received one bag of goodies. Kids could also participate in an Easter hat parade.
“It’s a great event for the community,” said Livia Morelli, office administrator of Dilbeck in La Cañada. “We do it all for the kids. Any money that we make through the donations is going to Montrose [Search and] Rescue, Pasadena Humane Society and Glendale Humane Society.”
People at the event could also visit a free petting zoo or pay to feed the animals for $2.
“The petting zoo is great fun thing for the kids can see all the little babies that have been born,” Lui added.
Kids played in one of three bounce houses, which were separated by age groups. There was one for small kids, one for large kids and one for teenagers. People also enjoyed animal balloons, tattoos, nail polish and face painting.
Attendees could participate in a raffle in which they could win stuffed bunnies donated by Dilbeck. Tickets were $1 each or six for $5. Proceeds from the raffle went to no-kill shelters Glendale and Pasadena Humane society and Montrose Search and Rescue.
Kids had the chance to meet the Very Important Bunny (outfitted by Rowena Emmett). Emmett has been portraying the Easter bunny for 13 years – a role she has become comfortable with.
“I must have been born to be the Easter bunny,” she said.
At Sunland Park, it was greasy delicious food, a giant Ferris wheel, carousel, and mind-numbing, head-spinning, stomach-churning rides that greeted guests at the 52nd annual Sunland-Tujunga Easter Carnival, presented by the Sunland-Tujunga Chamber of Commerce. The carnival was a three-day affair that kicked off on Friday and ran through Easter Sunday.
Money raised from the carnival was dedicated to the chamber, community businesses and Verdugo Hills High School.
In addition to the carnival attractions, two Easter egg hunts took place, one on Saturday at 11 a.m. and the other on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Verdugo Hills High School JROTC helped with security, while the girls’ soccer and volleyball teams sold wristbands and tickets in front. Admission was $5 and children under 30 inches were free; all day wristbands for the rides were $25.
Entertainment was provided all three days.
“We had excellent bands,” said Sonia Tatulian, former Sunland-Tujunga Chamber of Commerce president and this year’s carnival chairwoman. “Craig and Debbie was one of them. Marcus Lane was another. We want to thank all the bands and all the performers, including the YMCA Zumba dancers. It was very, very nice.”
On Easter Sunday, the weather was uncomfortably cold and wet, which unfortunately affected ticket sales and caused the carnival to close early.
“Sunday was a little slower, but we expected that due to the weather conditions,” Tatulian said. “Friday and Saturday we were very busy.”
An estimated 3,000 tickets were sold over the three days, about average for the event. The chamber is still counting the money collected.
Sunland resident Rose Aguilar has been coming to the carnival for the past three years and said Sunday’s weather definitely put a damper on the day. But, she went on to say, because there were less people, her daughter was able to go on all the rides without standing in a line.
“Usually we have to wait in a long line,” Aguilar said. “But not this year.”
Aguilar also said that both her son and daughter enjoyed the Easter egg hunt because the groups were divided by ages, allowing for everyone to have a good time.
Sun Valley resident Jennifer Bonilla agreed with Aguilar that there were fewer crowds this year due to the weather, but found a silver lining in the clouds saying that she had fun with her family.