There may not be a better neighborhood around for kids than Mangowood, the 300-home community just west of Coral Reef Elementary in Palmetto Bay. For the past 50 years or so, the voluntary homeowners’ association has organized an Easter Bunny parade.
Joined by the police and fire departments, along with some of the Village Councilmembers, the Easter Bunny was chauffeured through the neighborhood’s tree-lined streets to the delight of young and old along the parade route.
“This is a wonderful community and a great event. I’m so pleased to join this Easter celebration,” exclaimed Palmetto Bay Mayor Shelley Stanczyk.
Nathan Melouo, age 7, was so excited that he literally jumped for joy when he saw the Easter Bunny turn onto his street. He then waved and quickly wished everyone a Happy Easter.
As the parade ended, the Easter Bunny was greeted by more than 100 residents who had joined at three homes to start the annual Easter Egg Hunt. 9-year old Sophia Oprandi was more excited about the hunt than the opportunity to sit for a photo op with the Easter Bunny. “I’m kinda scared of him, but I’m going to win the Easter Egg Hunt.”
Even 3-year old Natalia Quick with her dad John had a blast. “This is my first egg hunt, said Natalia, “and I’m going to find ten eggs!”
The hunt was organized into three age groups, each assigned to one of the participating front lawns. And with a 'Ready, set, GO!' from the loudspeaker, the kids were off...
Nine oversized eggs were hidden to allow the kids to win a special Easter basket. Wouldn’t you know it, Sophia was a winner!
Nathan, who was so egg-cited from earlier, did get to meet the Easter Bunny up close for a picture.
In addition to the personal sit down and snapshots with the Easter Bunny and lots of jelly beans, cookies and drinks, the day brought the community together to enjoy the weather and the conversation.
There is no doubt Mangowood is something special. The neighborhood also goes all out for other annual events including, Santa’s Parade, the 4th of July Parade and Air Force Fly-Over, a monster-sized garage sale and a music-filled Fall BBQ. HAPPY EASTER!