■ Craig Shultz, Valley-Wide Recreation and Park District / Contributed
Two sure signs of spring are a visit by the Easter Bunny and children taking to the diamond fields for baseball and softball games. All will be celebrated in April by the Valley-Wide Recreation and Park District.
Opening Day Ceremonies for youth baseball and softball will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 6, at Diamond Valley Lake Community Park in Hemet. The event will feature speeches, presentations, a visit by former Major League Baseball player Matt Luke and the introduction of more than 1,000 boys and girls who will be playing in Valley-Wide leagues this spring and summer.
Easter activities begin on Saturday, April 13, with the 31st annual 5K Bunny Hop Family Fun Run at Diamond Valley Lake Sports Park. The racing will start at 9 a.m. with the Tot Hop (up to age five); 9:15 a.m. for the 1K (up to age 12); 9:30 a.m. for the 5K walk, and 10 a.m. for the 5K run. The latter two races are for competitors ages eight and older which will be divided into 10 categories.
The fees are $5 for the Top Hop and $10 for others until April 11. Late and race day registration will be $8 and $15. The first 50 people to sign up for the 1K or 5K will receive an event t-shirt.
The Easter Bunny will also visit four different parks on Saturday, April 20, with Easter egg hunt activities at Diamond Valley Lake Sports Park (10 a.m.), Gibbel Park in Hemet (9 a.m.), Rancho Bella Vista Park in French Valley (9 a.m.) and Marion V. Ashley Community Center in Menifee (10 a.m.).
Each facility will have prizes and contests as well. Participants, who must be 12 or younger, must bring their own basket and there is no fee to participate.
Valley-Wide Recreation and Park District operates 86 parks and community centers in French Valley, Hemet, Menifee, San Jacinto, Sage and Winchester. For more information, call 951-654-1505 or visit GoRecreation.org.