Newport’s Easter bonnet contest goes digital

in Arts and Entertainment/Newport/News

NEWPORT — An annual contest for festive headwear has been a tradition at the annual Prouty Beach egg hunts in Newport for decades, but this year things looked a little different.

Newport Parks & Recreation, who hosts the spring celebration every year at the park, decided to take the contest digital after making an announcement in March that the event couldn’t happen this year.

“Coming to these big hunts is a long-standing tradition for families here, in some cases spanning across generations,” said Jessica Booth, Director of Parks & Recreation. “Even though Easter won’t be quite the same, we can still make sure these events don’t pass without some sort of fanfare.”

According to Booth, the number of bonnet contest entries more than tripled this year with families ready to embrace the gesture.

With such success, she wonders if an online version of the contest will live on as a new tradition, even after things return to normal.

To enter the virtual bonnet contest, participants were asked to post a photo wearing a homemade bonnet to the department’s Facebook page, including their name, age and the name of their hat.

On Thursday morning a judging panel, which included the Easter Bunny himself, had the tough task of selecting ten winners from over fifty photo entries.

Winners will receive a back-yard egg hunt kit which includes Easter-themed crafts and games, bonnet prizes, over 100 pre-filled eggs to hide around their home, and of course, one illustrious golden egg with a special surprise inside.

“Knowing we couldn’t host our own hunts, we thought this would be a cool way for locals to recreate the experience from the safety of their own home,” Booth said. “We even lined up the Easter Bunny to help us make the deliveries on Friday, which will make it even more special for the kids.”

TOP BONNETS:

“Oh No, The Easter Bunny Tripped” by Colby Thomas, age 7
“Everybunny Loves Carrots” by Asa White, age 4
“Mexican Bunny” by Kloie Loukes, age 9
“The Magic Easter Egg Hunt Hat” by Jackson Cole, age 8
“Crazy Carrot Hat” by Andrew & Peter Cilwik, ages 3 & 5
“Faith, Peace & Love” by Hayden Gonyer, age 11

FAMILY PICKS:

The Riendeau Family
The Coburn Family

BEST IN SHOW:

“Birdseye Egg Catcher” by Aiden Morse, age 7
“The Spring Fling” by Paislee Goodell, age 8

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

“Have a BEE-utiful Easter” by Lacy Perry, age 9
“Chickadee Peepers” by Kolton Morse, age 1
“Triceratops Topper” by Oak Chambers, age 2
“Hope” by Ella Gonyer, age 8
“Emma’s Creation” by Emma Blake, age 8
“Bella’s Bunny Garden” by Bella Phillip, age 2

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