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Mayor Given is encouraging Grande Prairie residents to focus on the true spirit of Easter and abide by health officials’ directives as the holiday weekend approaches.

“Practicing physical distancing as we celebrate Easter this year will be a critical part of our community response to the pandemic,” says Mayor Bill Given.

“We must remember that the core of most faiths is a spirit of service to others and caring for the vulnerable; in Easter traditions we celebrate a resurrection after a great sacrifice. Right now, it is imperative we individually make some sacrifices in our traditional celebrations to ensure collectively we are protecting the health and wellbeing of our community and our most vulnerable.”

In addition to the regular practice of physical distancing of two metres, washing hands frequently, and avoiding touching your face, the Government of Alberta has advised taking the following measures when celebrating this weekend:

  • Avoid gatherings outside of your immediate household
  • Find ways to connect while being physically separated
  • Worship in a way that does not put people at risk, including participating in virtual or live-streamed religious celebrations

“Grande Prairie is a city of innovation and resiliency, and the same can be said of our local faith communities. Many churches are finding unique ways to help people maintain spiritual closeness while maintaining physical distancing. This Easter, I encourage everyone to stay home to worship, find unique ways to carry on your traditions without gathering and reach out to family and friends using electronic means rather than an in person visit.”

Easter Bunny Deemed Essential Worker

Mayor Given has also declared the Easter Bunny as an essential worker.

“I know the COVID-19 situation has had a direct impact on the lives of our children as their routines have been drastically changed. Many children are closely watching every development and they have many questions about what it all means for them,” says Mayor Given.

“For this reason, I want to assure all of our residents, especially our youngest ones, that the Easter Bunny is deemed to be an ‘essential service’ and is approved to continue in his role this weekend as an essential worker in our community.”

Children ages 2-12 are encouraged to enter the City’s Easter Eggstravaganza Colouring Contest, and post their completed entries in their windows for everyone in their neighbourhood to enjoy over the holidays. Full submission details and downloadable entry sheets are available at cityofgp.com/events.

“We should remind children that while the Easter Bunny is free to continue his work, we are please asking for everyone’s patience as safe work practices and physical distancing directives may make it difficult for him to get to everyone’s house in the way he has in previous years.”

The Tooth Fairy has received the same designation as an essential service.

To stay up-to-date on the City’s COVID-19 response, visit cityofgp.com/covid19.