Although all the hardcore fetish porn news stories of late might give outsiders the impression that Florida is a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah, for the most part Floridians are as religious as people anywhere else. The Pensacola area even claims to be the site of the first Christian service in America on Aug. 15, 1559. (A nerdy piece of trivia: Pensacola actually predated St. Augustine by about six years, but it didn’t endure due to Floridian’s biggest foe, the hurricane.)
Like most events in Florida, Easter celebrations often take a surreal twist. Hordes of Christians crowd the Holy Land Experience theme park in Orlando to watch a Disneyfied reenactment of Jesus’ resurrection. The Jesus actor who looks a lot like Fabio is mounted to a cross while Mary and his posse dance and sing to a recorded orchestra. The faux resurrection is performed daily, but Easter is the most popular performance for obvious reasons. Get the details in the book Fringe Florida.
Then you have Easter egg hunts, Florida-style. Not that the traditional association of bunnies and brightly colored eggs and the resurrection of Christ isn’t strange in itself. (Supposedly, Easter eggs represent the empty tomb of Jesus and they were originally dyed red to represent the blood of Christ. Pretty gruesome when you think about it, which may be why that isn’t shared with the kiddies.)
Here in the land of furries – that is, people who are into anthropomorphic characters, -Easter egg hunts offer an excuse to dress up like a giant puppy or the Energizer Bunny. One group of Florida fursuiters hopped around hunting eggs at a Palm Bay park.
Of course, not every Floridian who dressed like a bunny this Easter was a “furry.” Every year dive Capt. Spencer Slate dons a bunny suit complete with long bunny ears and hides hard-boiled eggs on the sandy ocean bottom in the Florida Keys. This year, about 60 people – divers and snorkelers – paid $20-$65 to hunt the eggs.
Matt Pehrson, manager of Captain Slate’s Scuba Adventures on Key Largo, says diving in a furry suit isn’t as difficult as it might seem. “Once you’re in the water it doesn’t weigh you down,” Pehrson said. “It’s not like a full-on mascot suit. The worst thing is keeping the ears straight.”