Many people will be going to church this Sunday. For kids, Easter is often an excuse to devour chocolate and hunt for eggs. New Yorkers can also try the extreme version of the Easter Egg Hunt. Camille von Kaenel went to the Lower East Side.
Away from the rain at the Clemente Cultural Center, there’s a crowd of people of all ages wearing bunny ears with flashing lights. A psychotic bunny, who calls himself Peter Rottentail, is entertaining them. The carnival veteran starts hammering a nail up his nose.
KID So you wan’t me to pull it.
ROTTENTAIL Yes I do.
KID You have some problems.
Aaron Brokaw is nearby with his two sons, Ezekial and Jack. He isn’t sure this is entirely child-appropriate.
AARON We’ll see. I’m sure my kids will have a blast.
VON KAENEL What are you guys looking forward to?
KID I’m looking forward to completing the bunny thing or whatever.
The bunny thing is Full Bunny Contact, the headline event. In a metal cage, teams of two have forty seconds to grab as many plastic Easter eggs as they can while they wrestle with actors dressed in bunny costumes. Dan Demello put on the show.
DEMELLO It’s basically like Easter on steroids, it’s just a beefed up version of the magic we used to experience as kids.
UMPIRE Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to introduce tonight’s bunnies and chicken.
DEMELLO The bunnies all have their own different personas. There’s White Lightning, who’s just extremely arrogant and competitive.
UMPIRE Half lizard, half bunny, give it up
DEMELLO He was playing in a nuclear waste facility and he evolved.
UMPIRE It’s now time to choose your sides. Will you root for bunny, or will you root for human…?
UMPIRE Whistle… Begin
Chris Dudko and his son Oliver scramble to pick up the colorful plastic eggs. The lizard bunny has a friend in the cage with him. They’re trying to block the Dudkos, shoving them away from their eggs and swatting their hands.
UMPIRE It’s time!
VON KAENEL How was that?
CHRIS Little exhausting.
OLIVER It was pretty hard for them because they had to lean down because I was so small.
The activities will go continue on Suffolk just north of Delancey Street until Sunday. General admission is $10, and for another $10, visitors can get inside the cage.
Camille von Kaenel, Columbia Radio News