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Lifelong Moab local Tami Woodruff worked in childcare for decades at Lily Pad Learning Center and has hosted numerous fundraisers and events, so she knows a thing or two about creating fun activities.
“I’ve always participated in community activities and events,” Woodruff said. “Jeep Safari was one of my favorites.”
Jeep Safari, a popular off-roading event that has been a Moab fixture for more than 50 years, traditionally takes place in the week leading up to Easter. It was canceled for the first time ever this year as measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 went into effect.
Woodruff said that with tourists discouraged from coming to Moab and residents often feeling cooped up at home, she came up with a “fun, family-friendly, creative” project that can be enjoyed while adhering to guidelines about social distancing: Moab’s New Peep Safari.
Peeps – those brightly colored marshmallow confections that come in cute shapes like baby chicks and bunnies – are traditional Easter basket fare.
But Woodruff is calling on residents of all ages to get creative and create Jeep Safari-inspired tableaus featuring Peeps at the wheel.
“How many places will your Peeps travel?” Woodruff asks on the “Moab PEEP safari” Facebook page she created. “How cool of a Jeep can you make out of fun edibles?”
Woodruff also put out suggestions for scenes including a Peeps-mobile and a Peeps house.
Participants are encouraged to share pictures of their creations on the Moab PEEP safari Facebook page.
Woodruff said that no purchase is necessary and she hopes it will be a source of family fun and become a tradition similar to making gingerbread men.
“Let’s show the world we got what it takes to band together, be creative, share a smile and laughter and keep our Jeep Safari alive while our Peeps drive,” she said, adding, “I really want our community to thrive, not dive.”
In addition to organizing the Peep Safari event, Woodruff put out a Facebook invitation to an event called “The Rona is a Drag” in which participants “drag” Main, driving back and forth. Participants are encouraged to decorate their vehicles, though that isn’t necessary to participate. Woodruff said she did not come up with this event herself, but is just helping to get the word out. The next event is on Friday, April 10, at 7 p.m.
“This is so old school,” Woodruff said. “Before Facebook, tablets, Nooks, cell phones – this was the thing.”
Woodruff encouraged participants to wave at friends and use the curbside services offered by some local restaurants, and even to park and talk – but only while keeping to the recommended distance of at least six feet between others.
“Don’t get out of your cars and expose yourself to others’ possible germs or share yours with others,” Woodruff cautioned.
Another traditional local event, the Moab Recreation Easter Egg Hunt, has also adapted to the need to slow the spread of COVID-19. Normally, hundreds of children and adults would head to a city park for a frenzy of hunting plastic eggs with treats inside. This year, Moab Recreation is encouraging families to print out egg designs from the Moab Recreation website, www.moabrecreation.org, or to make their own and put their creations in a window or other area of their home that is visible from the street. (A link to the egg designs is also available on the Moab City Sports and Recreation Facebook page.)
“Drive, walk, or bike through your area (family groups only!) and try and spot as many eggs as you can!” read the instructions, adding that participants who may not be able to leave their home can still decorate for passersby.
The virtual egg hunt is happening from Wednesday, April 8, through Sunday, April 12. Participants are encouraged to post pictures of their eggs to the Moab City Sports and Recreation Facebook or Instagram pages.