Gallery: North Smithfield Easter egg hunt brings out locals for day of chilly fun

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Laylah Kayata, age 3, has her photo taken with the bunny.

NORTH SMITHFIELD – Five days past the official start of spring on Sunday, March 24, a fire truck pulled up at Pacheco Park in North Smithfield – and the Easter Bunny was helped down the steep steps.

The furry white character was at the park for North Smithfield Parks & Recreation Department’s annual Easter Egg Hunt for children ages two to eight and their families.

The crowd of more than 100 children, parents, and others out in the cold, 40-degree sunshine greeted the big rabbit then followed him up a grass hill, somewhat soggy from the previous day’s rain.

The official green light was given and the children were off in a hurry to hunt down Easter eggs scattered throughout the field.

Old Man Winter didn’t seem to care that the calendar page had turned to spring as non-stop biting wind was blowing, yet youngsters seemed energized and undeterred in finding Easter eggs.

Once the children returned with their winnings, it was time to meet with the day’s guest of honor, and children sat with the Easter bunny for photos. Not all enjoyed the experience.

Rosie Wu, age 2, wishes Easter was over.

“I think it’s an excellent event,” said Michael Wu of East Providence. The annual egg hunt, “brings joy to a lot of kids,” he said.

The father was encouraging his crying little one, Rosie Wu, 2, having a photo taken with the oversized fuzzy rabbit, who might have seemed to the toddler not a benevolent bringer of candy or gifts, but a white giant with large ears.

“We just love it,” Jerilyn Kayata of North Smithfield said of the Easter Egg Hunt. It’s, “a very family friendly event,” she said as her daughter had her photo taken with the big bunny.

Wren Bonilla, age 2

“I think it’s fantastic even though chilly. Got the kids bundled up,” said Kelsey Bonilla of North Smithfield as her toddler had a photo taken with the pink-eared rabbit. “Everyone’s gentle [with the children]. I think it’s great,” Bonilla said.

Antonio Sarabia of North Smithfield with his wife Cristina and three children Antonio,7, Max, 3, and Mila, three months, braved the cold to come out for the egg hunt. NRI NOW photo by Karen Iacobbo.

“It’s great. Good for the kids. It’s nice,” visitor Antonio Sarabia said of the event.

Parks & Recreation Program Coordinator Kate Pasquariello was smiling as she offered lollipops to the children.

Pasquariello stopped for a photo with Matt and Brittany Robichaud and their youngsters Oliver, 2, and Charlotte, 4, of Blackstone, Mass.

She said the day was “a little chilly,” yet there was “great turnout” for the Easter egg hunt.

Chris Sousa, of Blackstone, Mass., took a moment for a photo with his children Elayna, 2, and Adalyn, 8, as he cuddled them against the relentless wind. NRI NOW photo by Karen Iacobbo

“It’s my favorite event of the year,” said Pasquariello, “I love to see the kids.”

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