Spring has officially begun and Easter is on its way! Now is a perfect time to spring into the season and review Sacramento County’s information to help you and your family have an egg-cellent time.
The Good Egg
What would Easter be without decorating, hiding, hunting and eating Easter eggs! Just remember all this handling provides opportunities for foodborne illness. Start by choosing fresh eggs from the refrigerated case that are clean and free of cracks. You’ll want to get your eggs home and in the coldest part of the refrigerator right away – with your fridge set at 41°F or below. Keep those fragile raw eggs in their carton to add a layer of protection and keep them no longer than three to five weeks from the purchase date (the “Sell By” date is not required by federal law, but some states may require it). Before and after handling raw eggs, always wash your hands with warm water and soap and avoid cross-contamination by washing counters and kitchenware that come into contact with raw eggs. Remember, with Easter egg hunts, you will want to throw out any eggs (raw or cooked) when they have been out of the refrigerator more than two hours. And, egg dishes such as deviled eggs or egg salad should be stored in the refrigerator and eaten within 3 to 4 days. For more food safety tips, visit the US FDA website and Sacramento County Environmental Management Department website. Now, let’s find those eggs!
Our Parks Are Beautiful – Come Visit
Sacramento County Regional Parks are popular destinations for outdoor adventure on Easter Sunday. This increase in visitors is welcome, but it also creates a spike in maintenance and patrol costs for the Parks system. To offset the costs on Sunday, March 27, parking fees will increase to $8 per vehicle and vehicles with trailers or oversized vehicles over 22 feet will increase to $13. This fee increase does not affect Annual Parks Pass holders. Now is a great time to purchase an Annual Parks Pass, which saves money on park entry fees and shows your support for keeping our park system safe and clean.
Due to seasonal flooding some parks and trails may be closed. For example, Discovery Park will remain closed until at least March 28, but family picnics can be enjoyed at one of the parks further upstream, including William Pond, Riverbend, El Manto, Upper and Lower Sunrise and Sacramento Bar. The Howe Avenue Access is also closed. The American River Parkway between mile 2 and 3 is still flooded, as well as a portion of the old Campus Commons Loop. For your safety while visiting our parks, you are advised to pay attention to warning signs and barricades.
The American River is running high and fast and the water is exceptionally cold this time of year. These conditions can be dangerous to even the most experienced swimmers. Regional Parks recommends that no one attempt to swim or raft this weekend. If you must go in the river, you should wear a life jacket. Children under 13 must wear a life jacket at all times in public waterways in the County. However, swimmers of all ages should exercise caution.
Chocolate or Stuffed Toy Chicks and Bunnies Are a Better Choice
Baby chicks and bunnies as so cute but, unfortunately, after Easter, animal shelters receive unwanted rabbits and chickens that were given as impulse Easter gifts. Both rabbits and chickens – that can live up to 10 years – are excellent pets, but the responsibilities of ownership are important to carefully consider before giving them for Easter. Also, before bringing home a chicken check your zoning ordinances for chickens/roosters. If you decide rabbits or chickens are the right pet for your family, the Sacramento County Bradshaw Animal Shelter has adorable rabbits that need homes – and on occasion they may have chickens, too! View adoptable animals online or visit the Bradshaw Animal Shelter.
Easter Can Be Dangerous to Pets
Keep Easter baskets away from pets: chocolate, basket stuffing and tiny toys can be dangerous or fatal. And, dogs can get sick if they eat that elusive spoiled egg from the Easter egg hunt. The beautiful and iconic Easter Lily is also a toxic plant to pets and can cause kidney failure when ingested. Finally, with the warm spring weather, your pets might be spending more time outdoors and there is a greater chance that your pets could get lost – now is the time to be sure your pet is wearing a collar with a current license tag (so, when found, we can get your furry friend back to you as soon as possible), have up-to-date vaccinations, and is spayed/neutered to prevent unwanted litters.
Enjoy Local Festivities
Throughout our great County there are Easter celebrations to enjoy and our partner Sacramento365.com has lots of events listed, such as pancake breakfasts and egg hunts in local parks and check out Who’s Hatching at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Carmichael. Or, maybe you want to go to a shopping center like the Arden Mall to have your child photographed with the Easter Bunny. Or, you might want to head over to our many hotels and restaurants that are hosting Easter brunch. Have fun and enjoy this great season!