Hilde Maingay, of Falmouth, is well-known and loved for the Easter celebration she throws each year for her friends, family, and neighbors. This year's party would have been her 49th straight year hosting.
“For all of us, really, it’s the best party of the year,” she said. “There’s no gifts involved; people bring great music; we’ve never been rained out, which is totally amazing.”
Many Easter egg hunts, including Maingay's, won’t be the same. Under social distancing recommendations, local churches and families are looking for new ways to observe Easter Sunday services and rituals.
The 80-year-old Falmouth resident started throwing a community Easter party after she moved to town in 1970 to thank her neighbors for their help in her first year. That group of 30-40 guests has grown to more than 100, with the youngest children years ago now bringing their own families.
This year, Maingay is asking her guests to send pictures of how they’re celebrating at home.
“I was always imagining that there comes a time in our lives where we couldn’t handle it anymore and hoping that the next generation would take over,” she said. “I never thought that an outside reason would make us stop.”
Provincetown Police Spread Easter Cheer with 'Bunny Drive-By'
Recognizing a desire for some cheer, the Provincetown Police Department is hosting a “Bunny Drive-By” at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 11.
An officer will be “escorting the Bunny around Town,” according to a Facebook post, on a route that begins at the Police Department, goes down Shank Painter Road to Route 6, onto Nelson Avenue, back to Conwell Street, left onto Bradford Street, and all the way down Commercial Street.
To keep people safe, the department is asking spectators to watch from their porches or yards and practice social distancing.
Religious Leaders Offer Hope, Clarity Through Easter Story
Still, local religious leaders who recognize the fear and uncertainty of the moment say this Easter is an opportunity to reflect.
Reverend Nell Fields of Waquoit Congregational Church in Falmouth said the story of Easter—when Jesus’ disciples couldn’t find him in his tomb—offers a lens to process feelings people may have this year.
“I think that first Easter was confusing and hard,” she said. “So in some ways what we’re experiencing now is cracking open our hearts because we’re fully experiencing … maybe a little bit of what those early disciples were experiencing.”
Many Easter services—including Reverend Fields'—can still be accessed online through Zoom and Facebook.
But, Fields said, that’s not all.
“When we’re get back together again we’re going to celebrate Easter then, as well, because that really is the message of Easter,” she said. “It’s resurrection, it’s new life, it’s coming out of our tombs.”
At a time of quarantines and lockdowns, that’s a message for believers and nonbelievers alike.