On Sunday morning, Katie Pudhorodsky and her kids, Darcy, 9, and Grady, 6, will plant handmade Easter eggs—made from cardboard and posted on paint stirrers—around the Clifford-Sanchez neighborhood, which is nestled between East 12th Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard.
"We'll post them up in trees and on telephone poles, tape them to the side of the trash cans, much like you find a hidden Easter egg, so that if anyone is walking down the street, they can have a pleasant surprise in their day," Pudhorodsky said. "And the kids can be delighted as they walk the street and point out, 'I found one! I found one!'"
Public parks will be closed for the holiday, and most Easter events—including church services—are canceled or have been moved online as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. But Austin families that celebrate have found an unconventional solution.
One resident in the South Lamar neighborhood posted about "at-a-distance" egg hunts on her local Nextdoor forum. To host, the post said, families should hide eggs that are visible from the street in their front yard, and then post the number of hidden eggs on their mailbox. To hunt, families should walk or bike around the neighborhood—maintaining a safe six-foot distance—and see how many eggs they can find.
This follows an international trend.
Earlier this week, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reassured her youngest constituents that the Easter bunny—and also the tooth fairy—are considered to be "essential workers."
However, Ardern admitted it might be difficult for the bunny to reach everyone this year and recommended children draw an Easter egg and post the picture in their front window, to be discovered by neighbors out on walks.
Since Austin schools closed March 16, many children—here and around the country—have participated in a different hunt: for bears.
Seemingly inspired by the 1989 children's book "We're Going on a Bear Hunt," written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, families have placed stuffed animals in their windows for others to spot.
Pudhorodsky said her family has strapped a stuffed monkey to the post by their front door. Darcy and Grady have hunted for others in their neighborhood, though they haven't found many yet.
But much of the fun is in the preparation, Pudhorodsky said.
"Darcy really likes to spread joy and make somebody happy," she said. "So I think she's really going to enjoy that. I think that's going to be the highlight of her time."
The activity provides a welcome reprieve—especially for Darcy, who is sad to be home from school. The third-grader was looking forward to taking the statewide STAAR test and celebrating with a classroom party.
When Easter is over, the family will be on the hunt for another animal.
"She was really excited to dissect a fish this year," Pudhorodsky said. "So, we're going to have to figure out how to dissect the fish at our house."
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Austin FC couldn't find the stamina to fight off a 2-0 loss against LAFC for their inaugural match on Saturday.
The match, which saw No. 21 Austin FC go head-to-head with No. 2 LAFC in Los Angeles, was broadcast nationally on FOX and FOX Deportes.
Eleven players took the stage as Austin FC players for the first time, with five starters making their MLS debut. "Ringleader" Alex Ring took the captain's armband and wore it well. The defensive midfielder could be seen leading his teammates through their first ever match, but it wasn't enough to stage an Austin takeover in LA.
As Austin FC took the stage for their first-ever match, they appeared more experienced than their track record. The club held LAFC to a scoreless first half, keeping about equal possession of the ball.
In the signature style of Head Coach Josh Wolff, the team played with quickness and intensity, nearly connecting on several fast breaks.
The club was given some generous breaks from No. 2 LAFC, who had one or both of their star DPs out for the half. While forward Diego Rossi is out for the entire match due to a hamstring injury, Carlos Vela was accidentally pulled too soon on what turned out to be a miscommunication.
"He gave us the sign that he needed to come off," LAFC Head Coach Bob Bradley said on broadcast. "I can't say more than maybe it's my fault."
LA pulled some dramatics and slowly gained more possession throughout the half, but ATXFC's defense wasn't initially as shaky as it seemed in preseason. Jhohan Romana has pulled his weight in getting the ball out of goal, and a 34-year old Matt Besler held his own in center back.
As the second half commenced, however, it became clear that LAFC had the advantage over Austin's first major league team.
Goalkeeper Brad Stuver had his work cut out for him, fending off 24 shot attempts, 11 of which were on goal.
LAFC finally connected in the 61st minute of play as Corey Baird shot one into the bottom right corner. The team capitalized off their momentum and put one past Stuver a second time, drawing roars of approval from the LAFC crowd.
While some last-minute attempts from Jon Gallagher and others were made, Austin FC didn't have the endurance to bring a tie. After seven additional minutes of stoppage time, the club lost their first match 2-0.
It's matchday! Austin FC—Austin's first major league sport team—kicks off its debut season in Los Angeles today after years in the making. We know how much this means to our beloved city and are taking you along with us as we journey to LA!
Austin FC writer Claire Partain and I are excited to bring you game-day coverage straight from the City of Angels. Check back here for updates, and visit our socials: @austonianews for the latest.
5 p.m: Kickoff!
It's finally here! Claire will be updating Austonia's Twitter account live. And we'll post her game recap after the game. Best of luck Verdes!
4:40 p.m: Excitement radiates back home
Watch parties are in plenty supply back home. Austonia's Laura Figi visited Circle Brewing Co. and found a crowd of excited supporters.
4:20 p.m: Austin FC supporters are in the stadium
Although the Banc of California Stadium is hosting the match at limited capacity, we see some green in the stands ahead of kickoff. Just moments away from the Austin FC's debut!
~3:20 p.m: Austin FC's team bus enters the stadium grounds
With a warm welcome from Los Verdes, Austin FC players were welcomed into the Banc of California Stadium.
~1 p.m: Los Verdes in LA
(Rigo Rodriguez/Los Verdes)
Austin FC supporters are making their presence known in LA, including the Los Verdes group.
Los Verdes members started having match-day fun around the area this morning with brunch. We'll be joining them about an hour before the game outside the stadium to share some of their excitement. We'll post immediately to Austonia's Instagram.
11:45 a.m: We landed!
View from hotel room where we're staying; the stadium digital sign can be seen in the right corner. (Sonia Garcia/Austonia)
Switching over to pacific time, we're here and it's almost like no time went by. It's 9:45 a.m. here.
We've been in contact with Los Verdes, an Austin FC supporter group, who is also here in LA counting down to kickoff.
8:20 a.m: LA bound
Like many of you, we've been looking forward to this moment for, let's just say, a very long time. Today, we woke up bright and early, headed to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and hopped on a flight to LA.
A gloomy day in Austin with a very quiet airport, we're headed to sunny skies in California.
As we wait for the game to start at 4:30 p.m., check out Claire's preview of the game with a predicted lineup and timeline of the long journey to get here.