Wascally Wabbit a winner

Langley’s Bunny Daze a hit hop with state

Langley’s spring event celebrating its bountiful bunnies hopped in front of many other cities to win the Outstanding Promotional Event Award from the Washington Main Street Association.

Bunny Daze was named the winner during the Excellence on Main Awards ceremony at the association’s recent annual conference in Port Townsend.

Bunny Daze is a week-long promotion culminating on the Saturday before Easter with the “Wascally Wabbit Hunt and Adoption Program.”

Kids scramble around downtown Langley to find hidden, gently worn stuffed animal bunnies.

Each has a tag reading, “Bunny Relocation Program – Please Take Me Home.” There’s other activities, such as Hippity Hopscotch, and a chance to see the mayor wear a white suit and don big pink ears.

Bunny Daze was dreamed up by the Langley Main Street Association as a way to smooth ruffled feathers over what to do with the furry critters that create ankle-twisting holes in school fields, munch people’s gardens and create all kinds of ear-itation.

In late 2015, representatives from the city, South Whidbey School District and the county fairgrounds considered everything from using falconry to kill off the rabbit population to flushing them out of their dens with ferrets.

“Bunny Daze is an excellent example of making lemonade out of lemons, something every successful Main Street Community must do well,” said Breanne Durham, Washington Main Street Coordinator.

“It’s a simple and yet impactful event, in that it capitalizes on a well-known local topic and creates opportunities for local artists, businesses, and families to come together in a fun and memorable way, she said.”

The ceremony is held in conjunction with RevitalizeWA, Washington State’s Preservation and Main Street Conference.

Langley Main Street Association activities have been recognized numerous times by the state program. It’s twice won the Community Partnership award and also won an Outstanding Special Projects Award, Visual Impact award and the Green Community award, said LMSA program manager Michaleen McGarry.

Langley Mayor Tim Callison called it an impressive list considering Langley is the smallest city among the state’s 35 Main Street cities.

“I don’t think any other Main Street City — large or small — has an organization that is this effective or impactful,” he said.

“All of South Whidbey should be proud of all their hard work and the success they have achieved.”

The Excellence on Main Awards recognizes communities, organizations, and individuals who are helping to achieve economic vitality and build sustainable communities through downtown revitalization and preservation.

It’s administered by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.

For more information, go to www.mainstreet@whidbey.com.

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