Saanich Easter festivities a sign of hope; egg hunts planned for Saturday

The Easter Bunny isn’t a typical image that springs to mind when thinking of African aid.

But it’s a connection Signs of Hope in Africa wants you to make during its third annual Easter egg hunt this weekend at Beckwith Park.

The Victoria-based organization was launched in 2004 and supports families in Jambiani, Zanzibar, including a breakfast program that feeds 300 preschool kids daily. They also provide school uniforms, scholarships and micro-loans to family businesses.

Last year’s Easter egg hunt, held at Gyro Park in Cadboro Bay drew 1,200 visitors and raised $3,000 for the charity.

“Part of the importance of this event is raising awareness and letting kids learn about other children and families in the world,” said Signs of Hope president, Kirsti Falconer.

African music, program information and photos will be a part of the atmosphere. The hunt will likely support several months of the breakfast program and will feature a special visitor.

“The Easter Bunny is very excited about attending,” Falconer said.

The celebrated lagomorph will be on site and posing for photos during the 10 a.m.-1 p.m. event, which also includes a $5 barbecue lunch, face-painting, craft tents, a bouncy castle, an inflatable obstacle course, games, raffles and two Easter egg hunts. Children four and under begin their search at 10:45 a.m., with the five and over set given the green light at 11 a.m.

“The Easter Bunny will be right in there,” she added.

No pre-registration required. Entry is $5 for kids (14 and under), free for everyone else. Beckwith Park is located off Quadra Street, between McKenzie Avenue and Chatterton Way.

Earth Day Easter

A celebration of Earth Day and Easter is planned for the newly restored Whitehead park on the north shore of Prospect Lake. Guided heritage walks and interpretive nature programs are planned. Coun. Paul Gerrard will officially open the park at 11 a.m., Saturday, with an Easter egg hunt starting shortly after.