NIBLEY – The Utah Recreation and Parks Association (URPA) presented Nibley City an award for creating an Outstanding Event, their Easter HOPstacle course.

“We were given the award on Thursday’s city council meeting,” said Nibley City Recreation Director Chad Wright. “We’ve been doing the HOPstacle Course since 2016.”

Nibley historically held an Easter Egg Hunt like other communities in the surrounding area. Wright thought the Easter Egg hunts were more of a mad dash for Easter candy packed in plastic eggs hidden in plain sight. 

“The event took a significant amount of pre-event planning and a whole day of resources, for a total of two minutes of actual activity,” said Chad Wright, Nibley City’s recreation director. “After this brief event there were some sad children, some upset parents, and very little positive community connection.“

The city started from scratch and decided they needed the Easter Bunny and a more equitable approach to candy distribution. They decided to try an innovative approach of adding the fun and fitness experience of obstacles.

The first HOPstacle Course they tried was for children up to age 8 with different heats to accommodate age groups. Wright said the older kids thought it looked fun so the next year they did a course for 9-year-olds to 12-year-olds.

“We added a 5K with obstacles for the older crowd and that continues to grow,” he said. “In 2017 we had nine participants. Last year we had 419 participants; this year we had 372 runners.”

He felt like the Easter event was something the whole community was beginning to embrace.  

“We typically get one of our youth council to find someone to be the Easter Bunny,” Wright said. “They usually find someone like a cross country runner who has a lot of stamina and can handle the obstacles.”

Over the years they have only had the kids catch the bunny a couple of times.

The Nibley recreation department’s mission is to create a happy, healthy, connected community and their current Easter activity fits their expectations.  

“Starting from scratch we decided that we simply needed the Easter Bunny and a more equitable approach to candy distribution,” Wright said. “Thanks to the innovative approach of adding the fun fitness experience of obstacles trending in popularity nationwide.”

After doing some planning, the city’s recreation department created an active, long-lasting holiday event where the community connects, and participants look forward to attending.

They felt their activity promoted healthy lifestyles beyond the event and connecting participants with other supportive recreation providers. 

“We were excited to receive the award from URPA,” he said. “It’s fun to be recognized from someone outside of the community.”

The real recognition comes from watching the kids having fun and smiling as they participate in the HOPstacle, Course Wright said. 

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