Easter Bunny joins area kids for breakfast

PARKERSBURG – Hundreds of children enjoyed breakfast and a visit with the Easter Bunny on Saturday at the Parkersburg Art Center.

Art center director Abbie Hayhurst said about 427 breakfasts with pancakes and sausage were served between 9 and 11 a.m. Saturday at the art center at Eighth and Market streets to children and adults of all ages.

As she has each year for the breakfast, Hayhurst said “we’re very fortunate to live in the same town as the Easter Bunny and have him come to breakfast with us.”

Parkersburg resident Gwen Prater brought her children, Johnny, 5, and Harper, 19 months, to the art center for Saturday’s breakfast for the first time. Prater said she came out to see the Easter Bunny and to support the art center.

While her youngest was a little scared about meeting the Bunny, “Johnny’s excited and can’t wait to find eggs next week,” she said.

Sandy Harding, of Parkersburg, was at the art center Saturday morning with her 6-year-old granddaughter, Jenna Harding.

“We heard about it from her school and she wanted to come and have breakfast with the Easter Bunny,” Harding said of her granddaughter.

“This is our first time,” she said of Saturday’s visit to the art center. “I think it’s great.”

Eric and Corissa Jackson, of Vienna, were making their second visit to the art center’s Easter breakfast with their sons, Chandler, 4, and Connor, 2.

“It’s a great time, the kids can play downstairs and color and play in the play area,” Eric Jackson said.

This was the third year the art center has held the breakfast on the morning of the Mid-Ohio Valley Easter Parade, which went along Market Street through downtown Parkersburg on Saturday afternoon. The event is sponsored by Bob Evans Restaurant and Sir Speedy, along with volunteers from the Altrusa Club and others, Hayhurst said.

“This year we started a new pricing structure, so it’s $5 for a family. The family just comes in and they can all eat for $5, so it’s a good deal,” she said.

In addition to the breakfast, visiting children had a chance to meet the Easter Bunny and sit on his lap. Hayhurst said in past years, the art center has provided a professional photographer to take pictures, but parents said they were more interested in taking their own photos, so that is how it was done this year.

The art center also worked with Wood County Schools to hold a coloring contest for elementary children and the winners were hung in the children’s section of the art center during Saturday’s breakfast. Some of the pictures will also be displayed at the Patriot Center Bob Evan’s Restaurant in south Parkersburg, Hayhurst said. The overall winner, Emi Dowell of Belpre Elementary School, received a savings bond from the art center’s board of directors.