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Laguna Beach


Easter Parade Extraordinaire 

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Easter Parade participant Stu Jones says, “On a cold, rainy Easter Sunday in Laguna Beach, residents endured what seemed to be another day of isolation. No egg hunts for the children, no grandiose meals with out-of-town family. The gray skies seemed to be a perfect backdrop for what would be another long, lonely day.”

Easter Parade Mini Cooper

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Photo by Margie Pettit

Cars don Easter Day garb

But wait. Jones continues, “Grand Marshall Cara Holtschneider had other plans. An impromptu drive-by parade organized via text messages with friends and neighbors. Over a dozen families participated in the parade, vehicles decorated and signs waving, all while observing social distancing. As the vehicles streamed down the streets with horns honking, residents flowed to their porches and windows to see what was happening.”

Easter Parade bunny lady

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Photo by Margie Pettit

Dressed for the occasion

How did this all come together? 

Holtschneider says, “I had arranged a drive-by for a 50th birthday party for one of my neighbors. We had such a good time, and it was fun to see everyone in their cars. So, I mulled it over and decided ‘Let’s do it’ for Easter.”

So friends got busy. Kirsten Rogers did the flyer. Carol Kennedy did the pictures (for the flyer) and made giant paper mache Easter eggs and a basket. 

Evidently after that, everyone had to step up their game.

Easter Parade chicken

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Photo by Margie Pettit

Giant chicken, definitely not a “Peeps” 

“Imagine the surprise to see a Mini Cooper with a giant inflatable flamingo on the roof, the Jeep Wrangler with a Scotsman sticking out of the roof, dressed as an Easter chick,” says Jones. “The elaborate decorations were a sight to see. As the parade wound through Top of the World and made its way through town, word was spreading quickly. Families looking for a little cheer made their way to their stoops, hoping to get a glimpse.” 

Easter Parade family

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Photo by Margie Pettit

Family time

“What they got a glimpse of was the common bond we shared prior to social distancing and isolation. Community, friendship, and the joy we can still share with each other. The hope that brighter days are ahead, that when in need, we are still there for each other. While many of us may feel alone, we are more together than we have ever been. 

“Could it be that a man dressed like a chicken and an inflatable pink flamingo were the resurrection of community and togetherness? Easter Sunday was the perfect day to find out.”

Easter Parade sign

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Photo by Margie Pettit

It was a Happy Easter for all concerned

Margie Pettit, who photographed the event, says, “I feel so fortunate I was able to be part of it. I was brought to tears by the joy on everyone’s faces. And it was nice to flex my photo muscles – they have been in quarantine too. Documentary photography is my absolute favorite, and this event was incredible. Street photography is all about waiting for the ‘decisive moment’ and those were everywhere! Pure happiness on the faces of everyone, young and old. Especially the elderly who you could tell have been cooped up lonely for a while even more so than normal. To bring them some excitement was pretty amazing to be a part of!”

 

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

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