Jackie Decembrini of Charlisle Clothiers had not worn her Easter Bunny costume in decades when she made a last-minute decision to dress up and surprise Haida Gwaii families on Sunday.
“I swore I would never do it again,” Decembrini said of the costume, which can be quite hot for the wearer, “but it’s been so sad and so tough to see people so scared, I thought this was cool to see so many people smiling.”
With the help of Dana Brady, Sharene Elliott and a few others, Decembrini was able to prepare a one-float parade with music and gifts in less than 24 hours.
Brady created an Easter music playlist for the day and lent out his trailer, which Elliott, “the hardest working lady and artistic designer,” decorated with gift wrap, balloons, toys and more the night before.
“It turned into something bigger than I expected,” Decembrini said.
The festive trailer set out around 10:30 a.m. on April 12, driving from the west end of Queen Charlotte out to every street in Skidegate.
A costumed Decembrini waved to residents from the back of the trailer as it drove from home to home, and with gloved hands, Brady helped her drop off chocolate truffles, plastic eggs, balloons and stickers. Decembrini said the children and adults they visited responded with “big genuine smiles” that almost brought her to tears.
“I try not to cry in the costume because it’s really hard to see out of those mascot costumes anyway,” she said.
Despite taking a tumble off of the parked trailer at one point — a blow partly cushioned by her costume — Decembrini said the experience was “awesome.”
“I did a complete faceplant,” she said of the fall, adding that although she is laughing about it now, she was “mortified” for the onlooking children at the time. “I’m sure somebody has it on video.”
Going forward, she said she hopes her efforts inspire others to do something for the high school graduates, such as a parade that follows physical distancing protocols.
“Grad is a big deal,” she said. “I hope it gives somebody inspiration to do something like that for the graduates.”
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