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Old-fashioned Easter fun

Heather Artushin • Apr 3, 2017 at 8:00 AM

COOPERSVILLE — Smiles, laughter and excitement abounded on the Coopersville & Marne Railway Company’s annual Bunny Train excursion over the weekend.

Little ones and their families experienced a family-friendly train ride with entertainment provided by the Easter Bunny, Duck and Lamb. The colorful trio danced, led sing-a-longs and told jokes. The lively characters greeted each family and made every child feel special.

The Coopersville & Marne Railway Company’s 1952 locomotive and circa-1920’s passenger cars take guests through family-owned fields and farmland. The 90-minute train ride begins with a welcome by the train’s conductor, Jim Sikkenga. As the Easter Bunny and her friends make their way through each of the train’s passenger cars, the Springtime Princess, played by 14-year-old Destiny Norman, follows with Easter-themed storybooks read aloud for children to enjoy. As the train makes its way back to the station, the characters bring baskets full of toys from which kids can choose one special prize to take home.

The Bunny Train will continue to offer rides on Saturday, April 8 and 15, departing at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 9 at 1 and 3 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults, $17 for seniors (age 60 and up) and $16 for children ages 2-12. Children under age 2 ride for free. Tickets can be purchased on the Coopersville & Marne Railway Company’s website at coopersvilleandmarne.org/bunnytraintickets, or by calling 616-997-8000 ext. 4.

“I love that the patrons bring a different energy, making it feel like a different show each time. Even from one train car to the next,” said the Easter Bunny, played by local actress Angela Peavey.

This is Peavey’s 15th anniversary playing the Easter Bunny on the Bunny Train.

The Easter Duck, played by Matt Fowler for the past three years, said, “I love when the adults engage. I take so much joy out of it when people get into it. It’s great to see good parents coming out, sharing memories and joy with their children. I love to be part of the memory that carries on.”

Sophie Bolen is in her seventh year on the Bunny Train, this year playing the Easter Lamb. A junior at Forest Hill Central, she is one of Peavey’s acting students.

“I love being part of some families’ tradition, and to be able to make it special for them,” she said.

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