Easter family tradition has become favorite local attraction

Published 11:21 pm Friday, April 10, 2009

Beginning in 1971, Sue Manning — known as “Miss Sue” to almost everybody — began putting inflatable Easter bunnies in her yard on North Main Avenue during Easter. Miss Sue passed away in 2006, but her family was determined to keep the tradition alive.

For the last two years, Catherine Fuqua, Miss Sue’s granddaughter, has played host to the Easter bunny extravaganza at her home on Maria Street. What started with five bunnies in 1971 has grown to 103 bunnies and other inflatables in various poses. One scene shows a bunny teacher with her bunny classroom and chalkboard, while another has bunnies carrying a fire hose. Other small bunnies are dancing around a maypole, while others – varying in size from a few inches tall to a few feet tall – are just hanging around in the yard, waiting for the real Easter bunny to visit.

“Easter was our family get-together,” Fuqua said. “We’re continuing it for Miss Sue, because she wouldn’t have it any other way!”

Fuqua said the only years since 1971 that the Easter tradition was not carried out was in 2006, when Miss Sue became ill, and 2007, the year after she had passed away.

Fuqua set up the bunnies on Wednesday with the help of her cousin, Shannon Ferguson, and longtime family friend Angie Weeks. Also helping out were Fuqua’s husband, David Fuqua, and their children, Andrew and Coleman Fuqua; Weeks’ husband, Josh, and their daughter, Taylor Weeks; Fuqua’s cousin Michaela Fuqua; and Fuqua’s niece Caitlyn Dreher.

The yard has more than just bunnies. Other inflatables have found their way into the yard.

“This year, we’re going to have an Alabama-Auburn little theme,” Fuqua said. “We found an inflatable elephant and a tiger, so we’re going to make it Alabama-Auburn!”

Easter is what is called a movable feast, with the date of the holiday changing from year to year. Catherine Fuqua is making sure that what remains constant is filling her yard with inflatable bunnies and other things, carrying on the longtime family Easter tradition.

“Over the last 10 years, it’s been really hard to find [inflatable bunnies],” Fuqua said. “We started out with some really big ones, but you can’t find the big ones anywhere now. I did go online, and I was able to find some new ones this year, but the only ones you can buy are the little ones.”