Bunny Trail Returns To St. Marys

By: 
JAKE DOWLING
Staff Writer

An annual tradition around Easter is making a return to St. Marys.

After a three-year hiatus, the Bunny Trail will be back April 4 thanks to the St. Marys Area Resource Team (SMART) and Nancy Mauter of Hudson’s Jewelers.

The event began in 2007 under the Downtown St. Marys Group, then eventually the St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce and the Lions Club before being discontinued after 2016.

“It’s nice because we have had experience running it before and we can look back and say, ‘what do we want to change, what are we might make a little different?’” Mauter said. “We really want to keep everything and with SMART, we're trying to keep everything kind of focused in the downtown area and the downtown corridor we're going to hold it down here and make it a little more family-friendly.”

The main difference with the event is that will be featured in just downtown St. Marys instead of a variety of stores throughout town.  

“It's more walking because before the biggest complaint I think was getting kids in and out of cars and for the retailers, it was frustrating because then people were busy just running and getting their ticket punched because they had to get back to for the time crunch and then they had all the kids pull in and out of car seats and things like that,” said Mauter, who use to organize the bunny trail in the past. “So we eliminated and we are doing a big a drawing. In the past, hey would do is they go around and get the ticket punch and get a little Easter treat at each location.

“We wanted them to feel comfortable getting to know where businesses are or seeing what people have to offer, to realize people are around and just to kind of get acquainted with the face of your hometown and the people that work here and the people that do business here.”

Mauter said the group is in the process of nailing down a starting location for the bunny trail but it will be a walking event downtown. Mauter also stressed that businesses outside of the downtown area who want to participate can contact her at Hudson Jewelers or Laura Yelton at State Farm. 

“We can get them set up and we're going to work on having pop-up shops around,” Mauter added. “It will be a location where they can represent their business.”

In the past, the Bunny Trail concluded with a big drawing with various giveaway items or smaller baskets filled with goodies. Mauter said the group still wants to do a big drawing and added that businesses that participate in the bunny trail will supply something for the big basket as part of the big drawing.

Mauter said that additional plans are still in the works, such as an Easter egg hunt or face painting.

The event will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A start location is still to be determined. For a small donation, each participant will be given a Bunny Trail ticket from a location to be determined.

The funds from the event will either go toward a charitable fund for SMART or something to help a project that will benefit the downtown area. 

Mauter said the group is happy to accept any businesses that want to be a part of the event. The only requirement is the businesses to pay $25 to be apart of the trail for non-SMART members. That fee will help serve as advertising for that business. In addition to the fee, businesses are also encouraged to donate an item to the big drawing.

Those interested in joining can contact Yelton at 419-394-4944, Amy Lauth at Plus One Professionals at 419-394-7402 or Beth Keunekel at stmaryshelp@seolibraries.org.

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