BY DEBBIE PAGE
Hundreds of kids were delighted to experience the Town of Troutman’s Cottontail’s Cruise-In on Saturday morning, complete with special surprises for the whole family.
Town Manager Ron Wyatt greeted guests at the Town Hall parking lot entrance, directing cars to the first stop, a visit with the Easter Bunny, his lovely wife, and his three lovely little bunnies, and a special helper assisting then in handing out the 450 treat bags filled with eggs and toys.
Lt. Darrin Payne was also on hand to greet the kids and pose for pictures, and Officer Jonathon Lyons helped folks safely exit the event.
After winding around the building, folks were greeted by Parks and Recreation Director Emily Watson, who guided cars to the next station, a selection of ice cream scoops provided by event sponsor Southern Treats.
Guests were then directed to ESC Park to pose for family pictures at several photo booth stations set up just for Saturday’s event.
Watson was thrilled at the turnout, estimating that 400 cars came through the two-hour event.
Watson worried that people would be anxious about gathering again, even at this carefully distanced, masked event. But she said the feedback was very positive, with many thanking the town staff for providing this celebration for the community in person and online.
“It felt great to see our community again. It’s been a year since we’ve had an event. I enjoyed seeing those big smiles,” Watson said.
The event was a good balance of respecting COVID-19 protocols and restrictions while still giving the community a change to connect with others in a safe, healthy manner. Watson worked hard to ensure all precautions were observed.
Watson thanked the wonderful volunteers who helped with the event, including the Parks and Recreation Committee, town staff, the Bryan Pasley family, Todd Hardy, Paxton Hix, Tonya Bartlett, Lily Thompson, Mallory and Reid Watson, and community member Beth Merner, who provided 150 of the stuffed eggs.
She also thanked Debra Lester for using her Easter Bunny connections to arrange two video story times for the community’s children on the Parks and Recreation Facebook page over the past few weeks.
Watson said the Troutman community is the reason that Parks and Recreation events and programs are successful. None of it would be possible without community volunteers, sponsors, and support, she added.
♦ The Yoga in the Park series starts April 1, but registration for the space-limited workshop is already full, according to Watson.
♦ On Saturday, April 10, the 5K Run and Walk Group will begin a seven-week course at 8:30 a.m. at the ESC Park Pavilion. Michelle Sparks will lead the beginner group, and Phillip Yarborough will work with more experienced runners. The goal is to get participants in shape to walk or run a 5K event by June.
♦ The Community Bluegrass Jam sessions will take place this year at ESC Park on Monday, April 12, with other sessions following on April 26, May 10, and May 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. Community members are invited to come enjoy some good ole’ bluegrass music or bring their instruments to play or sing along. Troutman Chair Co. is bringing their famous rockers for folks to sit in, so folks can pack a picnic and plan to join in the fun, with plenty of room in the grass to spread out and social distance. If the weather requires cancellation, the Parks and Recreation Department will update its Facebook page with that information.
♦ The Miles for Matt 5K is planned for Saturday, June 5, at 9 a.m at ESC Park. The route is still being determined, and McLelland Racing Team will time the event. Participants may be limited to comply with any COVID-19 restrictions in effect at that time.
♦ The Troutman Independence Day Parade is planned for Saturday, July 3, at 11 a.m. The route may differ this year, said Watson. The town is currently accepting applications from those interested in participating in the annual event. The town thanks J&S Fab, Inc. for stepping up to be the title sponsor of the parade this year. Entrant applications are available online at www.troutmannc.gov or can be picked up at Troutman Town Hall at 400 North Eastway Drive.
Contact email@example.com for more information on any of these events or Angela Hoover for parade information at firstname.lastname@example.org.