Easter Sunday came with a little less stress for families celebrating at Roeding Park this year.
Many families flocked to the popular central Fresno park to celebrate the holiday and found there was less crowding and more space for fun.
Raquel Garcia, an advocate at Rape Counseling Services, noticed the park was emptier than it had been in previous years; she found it easy to enter the park and enjoy the day with her family.
Although Garcia had been collecting Easter egg materials since January and spent last week preparing for the celebration in the park, she said finding an area in Roeding was not hard this year.
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“I think it is the easiest out of all the years we’ve come,” Garcia said.
Vanessa Gradilla, a homemaker who lined up to enter the park about 5 a.m., said it was the first time her family had spent Easter at Roeding Park.
“This is the first year we have come here. Usually, we go to Kearney Park,” Gradilla said.
Gradilla was surprised at the convenience the park provided and said she was able to attend the 8 a.m. service at St. Helen’s Catholic Church.
Gradilla said her husband stayed behind to finish setting up.
Cesil Deloney, a dad and entrepreneur, was busy cooking barbecue for family members who would arrive later. He said this year was no different.
Despite the relaxed atmosphere at the park, Deloney still made arrangements long before Sunday, reserving an area at the park almost a month ahead.
“You gotta plan ahead,” Deloney said.
Erika Garcia, a mom and housewife, also planned after experiencing a busy Sunday last year.
Garcia said she was surprised to find that there was more space available for her siblings and their families this year, and she even provided one possible reason for why that happened.
“People weren’t coming because they thought it was going to be packed again,” Garcia said.
Gabriela Garcia, a mother of two, found a shady spot at the park. She said this was the first time she was spending the holiday at the park. She had celebrated at her mother’s house in previous years.
Garcia occupied only a small space with a blanket and a few scattered Easter baskets.
“It’s something new,” Garcia said as she filled Easter eggs. “It’s a little bit better, and we don’t worry about bringing a lot of things.”