Barbara Ransome, of Port Jefferson, dressed as the Easter Bunny,...

Barbara Ransome, of Port Jefferson, dressed as the Easter Bunny, led the parade at the 15th annual Port Jefferson Easter Parade and Egg Hunt. (March 31, 2013) Credit: Ursula Moore

Two Easter rabbits vied for attention at the 15th annual Easter Bonnet Parade and Egg Hunt in Port Jefferson on Sunday.

Barbara Ransome, director of operations for the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, has been dressing as the Easter Rabbit for 15 years and said she loves every minute of it.

“I’m the rabbit,” said Ransome, 57, of Port Jefferson. “You can’t get more exciting than that. I love when the little kids greet me with open arms.”

But an appearance by another rabbit, an actual rabbit named Spanky, is becoming an annual event.

Melissa Petseo, of Port Jefferson, has been bringing Spanky to the parade for the past three years.

“Everyone loves her,” Petseo said. “I let people touch her and they love it. I always have a great time.”

An estimated 500 people attended the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce’s 15th annual Easter Bonnet Parade and Egg Hunt on Sunday.

The parade, which stepped off at noon, traveled north on Main Street and ended with the egg hunt at Harborfront Park.

The egg hunt was separated into two groups for children ages 2 to 5 and 6 to 8. They searched for 2,000 eggs on the lawn of the waterfront park.

Coram residents Sabrina Hurtado, 6, and her cousin 4-year-old Ronan Hurtado were thrilled about walking in the parade and collecting Easter eggs.

“We love getting the eggs and seeing the Easter bunny,”
Sabrina Hurtado said.

While hundreds of kids raced through the Harborfront Park grass, collecting eggs, laughing and smiling, 5-year-old Ian Falese, of Shirley, dressed as Scooby Doo and managed to quickly gather his six Easter eggs.

“I like running around to get the eggs,” he said. “I am having fun.”

Ransome said the chamber started organizing the parade as a way to unite the community for Easter.

“Today is all about having fun,” she said, adding: “The Chamber thought it would be fun and a great way to do something special on Easter.”

Sisters Breena Harrington, 5, and Alayna Harrington, 9, both of Setauket took the event’s theme seriously. The girls tapped into their creativity and wore bumble bee and Easter Bunny bonnets.

“We wanted to get dressed up today and wear something special for the parade,” said Alayna Harrington.

Six-year-old Ethan Kaufman, of Mount Sinai, was eager to collect colored Easter eggs to fill his neon yellow Easter bucket.

“This is fun,” he said. “I love getting Easter eggs.”

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