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Easter Bunny Visit & History of the Easter Bunny Helper!

Everyone has that one picture from when they were a kid. That picture that's awkward, and a little embarrassing. That picture that your parents still pull out whenever they get the chance. Well, if you have kids, and you're looking for a chance to take that super awesome picture, your time is here! The Easter Bunny is hopping into the Sparta Chamber of Commerce on April 8! Bring your camera from 9:30-11 am to meet and take pictures with the Easter Bunny! Whether you have young kids who will be ecstatic to meet the Easter Bunny or older kids who aren't quite as thrilled, the lovely springtime decorations in the Sparta Chamber of Commerce are the perfect backdrop for pictures that will forever hold fond memories!

Saturday, April 8 from 9:30 am to 11 am --> Easter Bunny Pictures!

History of Sparta's Easter Bunny Helper

Leading up to Easter in the 50's and 60's, Sparta's Lillian Bradford spent many hours at the Ben Franklin store basement. She had the task of creating special Easter baskets for sale in the store. She took her "Easter Bunny helper" job very seriously for about twenty years. Typically, she would start with a bright multicolored basket which she filled with green stringy grass. Each basket was created individually. Sometimes a sand pail and shovel or plastic dump truck were used in place of the basket. A small toy would be in each one like a stuffed bunny for a girl and toy truck or boat for a boy. For a special surprise, Lillian might have included a jump rope, bubbles to blow, wood paddle with a ball, yo-yo, or a bag of marbles. Often, the featured item was a tall mouthwatering chocolate bunny. Marshmallow eggs, yellow peeps, and colorful jelly beans would be lying in the grass. Cellophane wrap would finish the basket gathered at the top with bright colored ribbon in bows and curlycues. Lillian's creations lined the store shelves just waiting to delight Sparta area children on any Easter Bunny's list! --by Adele Jones Lillian Bradford In 1931, at the age of 19 and as a new bride, I moved to Sparta. The only person I knew was my husband, LD Bradford. We purchased the house where I still reside on Centennial Street. The house had also belonged to LD's father, Harry Bradford, grandfather Perry Bradford, and great-grandfather Moses Bradford. There were many relatives to the Bradfords including the Colbys and the Penningtons. There were Sunday dinners at each other's homes and reunions at Camp Lake. I soon got acquainted and made friends. Sparta was a busy town for its size. The Sparta Foundry, Carnation Milk Plant, and Welch Manufacturing were the industries. One thing that fascinated me about Sparta was that in my home town the only store close by was a small grocery store. For anything else, we took the bus downtown. In Sparta, within two blocks there were two churches, a post office, a dime store, two grocery stores, two meat markets, a hardware store, and a large clothing store. The countryside was beautiful with its cherry, peach, and apple orchards and lots of lakes. I fell in love with Sparta and we raised our five children here. During those years, I was involved in Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, PTA, and other school activities. Also, a quilting club. I worked at Finches Meat Market and the Ben Franklin dime store. For many years, I was the village Easter Bunny providing baskets full of goodies sold at the variety store. I have never had the desire to live elsewhere. --by Lillian Bradford, 6/19/199


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