March 7, 2002 - Gonzales Easter Bunny

When the Easter Bunny is not hiding eggs in your yard, where does he spend the rest of the year? It turns out that the bunny is a lady, and she lives in Ascension Parish.

"Every basket is a different size," says Joanie Marchand as she assembles an Easter basket, "and you just have to fill up the holes, that's all. It is fun to make them, it really is." The candy man is really happy to see Joanie coming every spring.

She's the Easter Bunny of Ascension Parish. She starts getting ready for Easter four months early, and by Lent is up to her ears in Easter baskets. In the back room of her house in Gonzales, she'll turn out about 40 Easter baskets a day - about 200 for the entire season. "I usually make five at a time," she says "the same size, and it takes about 15 minutes for all five of them. I don't dilly and I don't dally when I'm doing it, but anyhow it's fun!"

Why is it fun? What does she get out of it?" "I don't know," she says. "The joy of seeing the little kids when they come into the store and they look at it. It's just a thrill for them." And she makes sure there's more than candy in those baskets. She also puts in stuffed animals, toys, books and puzzles.

Joanie's baskets are on sale at Roy Marchand & Son on Burnside Avenue in Gonzales. They range in price from $4.00 to $100.00.