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Leader Editorial: Salvaging an Easter tradition

March 16, 2013

The City Council gave Peter Cottontail awfully short notice this year, but he will still be expected to make an appearance — or at least drop off thousands of colorful Easter eggs — at McCambridge Park March 30.

Yes, Burbank’s Egg-Stravaganza, canceled last year due to budget concerns, will be back. There won’t be quite as elaborate a presentation as in previous years: no goody bags and no game prizes. Judie Wilke, director of park, recreation and community services, will be scrambling with her staff to pull this party together. Not only will they be put in the position of hunting down last-minute supplies, they’ll also have to beg for last-minute volunteers to help out that morning.

A majority of Burbank’s council members, three of whom, we note, are incumbents battling it out for the two remaining seats in the upcoming election, were not persuaded by naysayers. They decided that a last-minute approval of $8,000 to put on the unbudgeted event was, well, chicken feed. Only one councilman, Gary Bric, who has two years left in his current term, voted against the idea.

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Few springtime events are as irresistible as hunting for Easter eggs in a beautiful park. Families love them. In fact, in 2011, about 1,600 people turned out for Burbank’s event when it was estimated that there would be only 500 children participating. It was reported that in one of the hunts that day, 3,000 eggs set out for one of the age groups were scooped up in 10 seconds. “It looked like a mob,” a bystander said.

Given its wide appeal, it’s not surprising the Council refused to cancel the Egg-Stravaganza for another year. We sympathize with the financial realities, and are left a bit bemused about the political calculations that seemed to go into a kids’ event. But we’re pleased the tradition has been restarted. A few thousand bucks seems like a small price for the city to avoid getting egg on its face.

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