Awardee: Donna Christiansen, Langley Main Street Association Promotions Chair
Award: Outstanding Promotional Event
Langley has been experiencing an overpopulation of rabbits for nearly a decade. The problem grew exponentially, as these things tend to do, and reached the national news cycle in 2016. Amidst a heated local discussion about “what to do about the bunnies,” the Langley Main Street Association decided to create a whimsical event to add levity to the issue and draw people to downtown for the benefit of the business community.
Bunny Daze, a weeklong promotion culminating in a special event on the Saturday before Easter, was born. The Main Street Promotions Committee sought local artists to design marketing, began thrifting for gently-used stuffed rabbits, and reached out to merchants to encourage them to use the theme to decorate their shops and offer special promotions throughout the week.
The Saturday event included games, like Hippity-Hopscotch, and a mayoral proclamation (declaring it to be “Langley Bunny Day,” acknowledging that on this day, especially, Langley loves its bunnies). The highlight was the “Bunny Hunt and Adoption Program”, which involved volunteers hiding 150 stuffed rabbits throughout the downtown and encouraging children find themselves a “wasscally wabbit”. The stuffed animals each had a tag reading, “Bunny Relocation Program – Please Take Me Home.” Volunteers handed out daffodils to all attendees and, at one point in the day, a spontaneous sing-along of “Here Comes Peter Cottontail” burst out in the crowd.
Bunny Daze is poised to become a Langley tradition. The third annual event took place on March 31, 2018.
The Langley Main Street Association was able to take less-than-stellar press about an overpopulation of rabbits and show that they are not only creative, but that they can take things in stride.