Easter explodes on Riverfront

Published 2:39 am Sunday, April 17, 2011

ERIC J. SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Logan Perry, 3, gets picked up by the Easter bunny during the Easter celebration on the Vidalia riverfront Saturday afternoon. The new event featured several egg hunts, food and drink booths and games for children.

NATCHEZ — The scene between the Mississippi River and Vidalia levee Saturday was dripping in pastels and dotted with families at the Miss-Lou’s first Easter on the Riverfront.

The turnout was great, and the beautiful weather could not have been better, Event Coordinator Teresa Dennis said.

Dennis, who wore a lavender “Easter on the Riverfront” sash, was privileged to escort — via golf cart — the event’s grand marshal Mayor Hyram Copeland and Children’s Ambassador Henry LeBlanc.

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Copeland and LeBlanc were dressed in their springtime best, wearing matching white tuxedos, top hats, shoes and canes.

Copeland’s light blue vest and Leblanc’s yellow vest assured they were coordinated with the endless decorations along the entire river walk.

Eighteen-month-old Jonathan Curran looks inside of his Easter eggs for candy during Easter on the Riverfront. Events and booths stretched the length of the Vidalia Riverfront.

LeBlanc said he expects the event to be bigger and better next year.

“Jan Yates has done a great job. She’s got good taste,” he said of the decorations.

Yates spearheaded plans for the event, as she worked to make her dream of a family-friendly eater celebration come to life.

Copeland estimated 2,000 people had attended the event by 2 p.m.

“There’s something for everyone to enjoy,” Copeland said of the celebration.

Copeland said he was pleased to see both sides of the river come together to make the new annual event happen, and LeBlanc agreed.

“I’m just proud to be a part of it,” LeBlanc said.

Six-year-old Anna Brooke Hinson was especially excited for the decorated bike contest and parade.

“I’m so ready,” she said at line-up time outside the Comfort Suites.

David Anders finds another use for his Easter basket.

Anna Brooke, of Brastrop, La., decorated her bike Friday night with her grandmother, Cathy Hinson of Ferriday and mother Kim Hinson of Bastrop.

The pinwheels, blue tulle bows and pink stuffed bunny riding the handlebars assured she stand out during the parade.

Cathy said she was pleased her granddaughter came to visit her the same weekend of the Easter event.

“My bike is half Barbie and Half Easter,” Anna Brooke said. “This is my first time to be in a parade.”

On the other end of the riverfront, seven-year-old Carlos Wright Jr. was ready to get the egg hunt started.

Wright has a simple strategy, “I run,” he said.

Wright’s mother, Tawanda Barker of Natchez, who came to the event with her three children, co-worker and her co-worker’s child, said she liked that the event is fun for her children but does not interfere with family Easter plans or church.

“You don’t have to pick and choose,” Barker said of her Easter plans.

Colin Cupit, 6, hugs the Easter bunny.

“The children are all excited,” she said.

Dennis said families came from all over the Miss-Lou to attend the event.

“It is truly regionalism at its best,” she said.

Dennis said approximately 50 people volunteered to make Saturday’s event happen.

Copeland said he was impressed how great of a job the volunteers did with the event in such a short period of time.