Photos: ‘Old-fashioned’ Easter traditions return to Darien

DARIEN — The town celebrated Easter weekend with a cross walk, Easter egg hunt and sunrise church services.

Darien’s cross walk returned Friday after being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Darien’s religious leaders joined to carry a large cross, welcoming the public, beginning at First Congregational Church and continuing down the Post Road to St. Luke’s.

Brandi Drake, associate pastor of Noroton Presbyterian Church, said about 40 to 45 people attended the walk this year.

An “old-fashioned” Easter get-together and egg roll brought a big crowd of families to the Mather Homestead on Saturday.

Around 75 children spent a sunny day on the rolling grounds, donning rabbit ears and cotton tails, and enjoying some face time with the big bunny.

“We’re so thrilled to bring the community here for old-fashioned Easter fun,” said Heather Raker, executive director.

“The egg roll was started at the White House in the 1870s,” she said, “and we are carrying on that tradition here.”

In three waves divided by age group, wooden spoons in hand, kids competed to roll a wooden egg across the field to a finish line.

Other games included pinning a tail on the bunny and a fresh carrot toss, as well as arts and crafts and some giveaways.

“This event is a great way to bring folks together on a beautiful spring day,” said Kathleen Blomquist, a nearby neighbor who took her daughter to the event.

“I just love to see all of the families out and about,” said Kelly Dupont, of Darien, one of about a dozen people who volunteered at the event.

“It’s such a nice sense of community,” she said.

“That’s what’s special about these kinds of events,” she said. “They’re simple, but unique.”

After the Easter Sunrise Service at the Mather Cemetery, First Congregational Church of Darien held two services that were each open to 50 people. Noroton Presbyterian Church also held a sunrise service on the church’s front lawn.