By Cathy B. Koplen
The Daily Star
---- — Easter festivities will abound in Cooperstown beginning Saturday, with the Easter Bunny train rides on the Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad, and continuing with Easter egg hunts, a parade and an Easter brunch at the Otesaga in the following week.
The Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society and the Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad will host a ride with the Easter Bunny on Saturday and Sunday, and again on March 30 and 31. The train ride includes snacks and an Easter egg hunt at O’Neill Station, as well as a visit with the Easter Bunny. The Easter Bunny Express Trains depart at 2 p.m. from Milford Depot, located at 136 East Main St. in Milford. The train ride lasts about two hours.
After hunting for eggs at O’Neill’s Station, there will be an Easter egg roll game in the open air car. All participating children will receive an Easter treat. There will be opportunities to take pictures with the Easter Bunny. Organizers suggest that patrons dress warmly.
Tickets to ride the Easter Bunny Express Train are $17 for adults, $16 for seniors and $14 for children ages 3 to 12. There is no charge for children younger than the 3. Discount rates are available for groups of 10 or more passengers purchasing tickets as a group.
Reservations and prepayment are required. For more information or to make reservations, call 432-2429 or visit the Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society website at www.lrhs.com.
On March 30, children will be invited to gather eggs on the front lawn of Hyde Hall. The children will be divided into different age groups and, promptly at 10 a.m., a horn will alert the children to begin gathering Easter eggs. The Easter Bunny will be on hand to visit with the children. After the Easter egg hunt, the Easter Bunny will be in the barn at Hyde Hall where he will offer candy, balloons and other prizes to the children.
The event is co-sponsored by Leatherstocking Credit Union and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation-Central Region.
“Last year we had about 200 hundred children gathering thousands of eggs,” said Carla Eckler, media contact for Leatherstocking Credit Union. “They come year after year, and they have a lot of fun. It takes about 15 minutes for all those eggs to be gathered up.”
After the Easter egg hunt at Hyde Hall, children may want to participate in the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce Easter parade. The parade begins at noon on March 30 at Lakefront Park. The Easter Bunny and Mrs. Easter Bunny will lead the children to Tunnicliff Inn, where the children are invited to the Mad Hatter tea. The Mad Hatter, Easter Bunny and Mrs. Easter Bunny will visit with the children during the tea. There will be several tables set up and face-painting will be offered.
“Last year we had about 200 children participating,” said Becky Davidson Nielson, event organizer. “It is fun. They get to meet the Easter Bunny, Mrs. Bunny and the Mad Hatter.”
On Easter Sunday, the Otesaga Hotel will have its annual Easter brunch.
“This is our 104th Easter brunch,” said Bob Faller, director of sale for Otesaga Hotel. “We have been doing this since we have been open.”
In addition to an adult fair of waffles, omelets, eggs Benedict, fresh fruit, prime rib, honey-glazed ham, chicken francaise, seafood newburg, smoked salmon, smoked scallops, vegetables, salads, pastries and an array of Venetian-style desserts; there will be a buffet designed for children that will include Hot Diggity Dogs, Mac & Cheese, Crispy Chicken and other kid-friendly food.
The Easter Bunny and Coco the Clown will be on hand to entertain the young diner and hand out candy. The Otesaga Hotel will have several tables set up in various rooms where children may decorate Easter eggs. The Easter Brunch Buffet will be from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $42.95 per person for adults and $21.50 for children ages 8 and younger. Reservations are recommended.