Easter Sunday is one week away and it will be a very different celebration this year.

Normally those who celebrate the holiday would be planning to attend a religious ceremony or perhaps participate in Airdrie's annual Easter Egg Hunt at Ed Eggerer Athletic Park.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a kibosh on typical Easter celebrations. But it didn't stop one former Airdronian from trying to start an atypical tradition for an atypical situation.

Char Baumann Pardely grew up in Airdrie but has been living in Spruce Grove for about 16 years. She visits Airdrie often as her mother still calls the city home.

Back on St. Patrick's Day, when many events had already been cancelled due to the coronavirus, Pardely saw a post on social media about people putting shamrocks in their windows as a way to celebrate.

She was inspired and thought ahead to Easter, thinking something similar could be done and wanted to make it really big in her community. So Pardely started the Facebook group Easter Egg Hunt 2020 With Social Distancing.

100,000 people from around the world had joined the group within the first week and that's now grown to more than 162,000.

"So much bigger than I ever dreamed it would be," says Pardely. "The general idea is to get your kids busy, make an Easter craft with them, hang it in your window, hang it on your door, put it on your garage door. And then take your kids out for a walk and hunt these things. And you can do it any time between now and Easter and that way you can take your kids out multiple times for walks and you can spot the ones that were just put up."

Pardely says starting the group and seeing it grow has given her a sense of community at a time when it felt like there wasn't one.

The Facebook group has plenty of ideas for Easter crafts and directions on how to paint windows with creative designs. There's also an Instagram page with the same name and the #EasterEggHuntSocialDistancing hashtag.


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