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Vidalia to host Easter on riverfront

VIDALIA — Miss-Lou residents looking for a fun, family-friendly way to celebrate Easter are in luck as the City of Vidalia recently announced plans to celebrate Easter on the Riverfront.

The new event will be April 16 on the Vidalia Riverfront and will offer a variety of activities for parents and their children to enjoy.

Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland said the event will be an excellent festival for all Miss-Lou residents to attend.

“I am really excited about having this event for the children to enjoy,” he said. “This is the first Easter-type festival we have ever had, and I know it will be a good one.”

Event co-founder and coordinator Jan Yates came up with the idea for the festival while driving over the bridge and looking at the riverfront.

“I noticed that it looked great, and I asked myself what can be done to make it even better,” she said. “I was sitting on the porch around President’s Day and it just came to me that we needed an Easter celebration.”

While there will be an Easter egg hunt at the festival, Yates said she wanted to have the event to give residents more options for their Easter holiday.

“For this holiday you hardly find anything other than an Easter egg hunt,” she said. “We wanted to offer something more and focus on having a family atmosphere for everyone to enjoy.”

Yates said there will be activities for everyone, including the Easter children’s parade.

“We are asking parents to bring their children with decorated bicycles, tricycles or wagons,” she said. “They can ride on these, or even walk and be a part of the festivities.”

Yates said children can participate in the event as long as they do not ride in motorized vehicles or bring large animals.

Event coordinator Teresa Dennis said throughout the riverfront there will be photo opportunities sponsored by the City of Vidalia.

“We are going to have a big Easter basket around five-feet wide that says, ‘Welcome to Easter on the Riverfront,’ on a sign above it,” she said. “We will be taking pictures of anyone who wants to get in the basket.”

Yates said she used to make baskets herself, and that the giant one for the festival will be handmade just like a regular basket.

Dennis also said Peter Cottontail will be at the gazebo on the riverfront for pictures.

Yates said area churches are invited to come sing Easter music of cantatas at the Riverfront Amphitheatre.

Non-profit organizations or church groups that would like to raise money through fundraising are invited to plan any activity, booth or event, Dennis said.

“We only want non-profit groups signing up for these,” she said. “Church youth groups, Relay for Life teams or any of the non-profit organizations are what we are looking for.”

Yates said each group that sets up a booth will be required to sell a different item so there is no competition among each group.

“We only want one group selling a certain item. If one group is selling cupcakes, no one else can sell cupcakes,” she said. “This way there is more variety and people are not competing with one another.”

Dennis said the city is also looking for local businesses to sponsor different things for the event.

“We have many things like the large eggs or crosses that still need to be sponsored,” she said. “We also need some items to put inside the children’s eggs for the egg hunt.”

Any business interested in sponsoring the event or non-profit looking to operate a booth can contact Yates at 601-431-6841.

Churches interested in getting on the schedule for the Riverfront Amphitheatre can e-mail Dennis at tdennis@cityofvidalia.com.

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