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Easter excitement
Shoppers hunt treats and sweets
Hallmark Easter 1 es
Nancy Palmer looks at Easter items Tuesday at Mina's Hallmark. - photo by Emily Saunders
Just a few days remain to stock up on Easter baskets, eggs, dye kits and, of course, sweets.

“Peeps are always a favorite with everyone, and Cadbury Creme Eggs — what Easter basket would be complete without a Cadbury Creme Egg?” said Steve Reid, Cumming Super Target store manager.

As Easter Sunday approaches, local merchants such as Publix and Mina’s Hallmark are preparing for last-minute shoppers.

“It starts to pick up usually by Thursday or Friday,” said Adera Bell, Mina’s Hallmark employee. “Saturday it will be very busy ... It was nonstop last week. They couldn’t get away from the registers.

“So I’m sure this Saturday it will be very busy with last-minute gifts and cards.”

The store in Lakeland Plaza in Cumming specializes in holiday cards and gifts. This year, crazy bands and silly bands are “the biggest rage right now.”

“We just got another shipment today and we’ve already sold 20 packs of crazy bands,” Bell said.

The thin rubbery bracelets are big sellers for Easter basket gifts, she said, as are Webkinz and Zhu Zhu Pets.

For adults, Precious Moments collectible moss-filled eggs and bunnies are on sale this week.

“A lot of people put those on hangers or on their tables for centerpieces,” Bell said.

Also on many tables will be ham, broccoli, asparagus, collard greens, sweet potatoes and other traditional Easter dinner foods, said Publix spokeswoman Brenda Reid.

“I’m thinking about my dinner table and those are the kinds of things I see on my table,” she said. “Easter is the last heavy food occasion before we get into the grilling season.”

Publix is also having sales on candy. Many types, including Kit Kat, Hershey’s Kisses and Reese’s, are wrapped in Easter pastel colors.

“Our bakery items are really popular during the Easter season with cakes and assorted decorated items,” Brenda Reid said. “The decadent desserts are really popular.

“People like a pretty cake to put on the table. We have an Easter egg cake in small, medium and large and an Easter bread, which looks like a breakfast bread with dried fruit.”

Publix and Target are offering reduced pricing on hams and traditional vegetable side dishes.

Steve Reid of Target said his spiral-cut Archer Farms honey hams and turkeys are on sale this week, as are eggs.

Dye to color Easter eggs has become less messy over the years, he said.

“They come in a lot more assortments of licensed characters and colors,” he said. “This year we have things ranging from glitter to a marbled
look, and the traditional style egg. We also have an egg that when you press a button, it will call to the child. It will say ‘come find me.’”

Easter baskets aren’t just made of wood and plastic anymore.

Target is selling tin baskets with Disney and Marvel characters, as well as other kid favorites.

“This year, we have a line of value baskets that are made of felt and have different characters on them,” said Steve Reid. “Easter week is a very
big week, partly because it’s tied to spring break.”

Spring break begins Friday for the Forsyth County school system, with classes not resuming until April 12.