Joan and Jazmyn Douillard are the mother-daughter team that runs Williams Lake’s only dedicated toy store, the Realm of Toys. This year they’ve turned the Realm of Toys Easter Egg Hunt into the Realm of Toys Easter Egg Festival. Patrick Davies photo.

Realm of Toys prepares an Easter Festival for Easter Sunday

Many activities planned for the downtown event

The Realm of Toys is all set to expand its annual Easter Egg Hunt into an Easter Festival this year on April 21, Easter Sunday.

For the last few years now daughter-mother team Jazmyn and Joan Douillard of the Realm of Toys have hosted the annual Realm of Toys Easter Egg Hunt for the children of Williams Lake. Jazmyn said that, as time went on, the event grew beyond the store with lines stretching down the street making it necessary to hire and invite entertainers out for the crowd.

“This year we decided we’re just going to close down the street and fill it with entertainment,” said Jazmyn, who received approval from city council Tuesday, March 30 for the street closure.

For the Realm of Toys Third Annual Easter Festival, there will be everything from magicians to facepainting and more with Hattie and Amos Entertainment, Maverick Farms petting zoo and a half dozen others already confirmed.

Adventure Games will also be presenting VR demos at their Memory Den site, while a Quesnel-based company is bringing their video game party bus to the festival.

Rather than holding the growing event in the Realm of Toys store, the egg hunt will instead be on the grounds of the Potato House this year.

Read More:Food and yard waste wanted at Potato House

This move comes in part due to concerns about theft in the store but also the fact that, even when they moved locations, they continued to find missing and lost Easter eggs scattered throughout their merchandise. Also, hosting the event outside and in a garden setting just makes more sense to Jazmyn as far as the theme of an Easter egg hunt goes.

When asked how the hunt would work this year Jazmyn said it has been a learning experience. The first few years they did it, they hid actual candy throughout the store which led to some children taking too much and others getting too little.

“Every year we learn. Last year we figured we finally had it down pat. We put out empty eggs and the kids had to find five eggs, bring them back to us and we’d trade them for a bag of goodies,” Jazmyn said. “This year, Oliver [Berger] from the Potato House, actually sliced up a whole bunch of wood medallions for us and then we painted them to look like Easter Eggs. So the kids will have to find those and trade them back to the people running the Easter egg hunt in exchange for a bag of chocolates.”

While in previous years the event has been completely free, this year Jazmyn is making it by donation, though she said they would not turn anyone away unable to make one. All money that will be taken in for admittance to the hunt and pictures with the Easter Bunny will go directly to the Potato House, which she says needs the funding. Partnering with the Realm of Toys to put on the event is the Williams Lake and District Credit Union and a few other silent sponsors.

To host all of this Jazmyn has already secured permission from the City of Williams Lake to shut down the street from the intersection of Second Avenue and Oliver Street down to First Avenue and Oliver Street. Vendors, entertainers and even bouncy houses will line this blocked off stretch of road from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., including a young boy who will set up a lemonade stand.

Jazmyn expects the festival to be busy, as last year their Easter egg hunt attracted close to 350 children, not counting their parents or guardians.

She asks that due to the petting zoo, people refrain from bringing dogs without a “firm hand” on the leash.

“It’s like Halloween. It always grows and we’re just amazed by the amount of people that show up each year,” Joan added.

As the weather is likely to be warm by the end of April, Joan hopes to attract more senior citizens to the event. Jazmyn agreed and added they’re looking at adding more lawn games and other activities seniors can more easily take part in.

Jazmyn said they are also currently looking for a few more volunteers to work security and traffic for the event. She said they’re good on the first aid side of things but could use four or six more people to just help ensure the event runs safe and smooth.

Read More: Rose Lake Miocene 4-H Club gearing up for annual Easter event in Williams Lake

“It’s Easter Sunday, it’s a fun day to come out and experience a bunch of things we don’t usually get on one day,” Jazmyn said. “This year, because there is no Street Party, we really wanted to amp up what we do for the Easter festival. We’ve really reached out to everybody (across the Cariboo) to get entertainers to make this worthwhile.”

hr width=75%>


patrick.davies@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Williams Lake teens organize protest in support of Black Lives Matter

Everyone is welcome to join in the protest which will get underway at 2 p.m.

Williams Lake RCMP capture fugitive walking along Highway 97 in city limits

Witness said they could hear police yelling for suspect to ‘get down’

Disaster recovery resources available for CRD residents impacted by flooding

Deadline is Aug. 5, 2020 to apply for disaster financial assistance

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

Williams Lake approves temporary liquor establishment area expansions due to COVID-19

Liquor Control and Regulation Branch issues application process for interested businesses

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Williams Lake Tribune continue its mission to provide trusted local news

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

Most Read