They’re as perennial as the bluebonnets, paintbrushes and buttercups that line Texas’ roadways in spring: Colorful displays of piñatas, cascades of cascarones, bunches of bouquets and baskets.
Several “Peeps Pop-up” markets lined streets throughout the East Aldine District Friday and Saturday as entrepreneurs and fund-aisers set up their annual Easter displays in the rite of spring that is as common as that last winter chill and sprinkling of rain.
America Sanchez, 14, was helping her neighbor at a booth along Aldine Mail Route Road, posing happily with two giant Easter bunny piñatas as she explained the advantages of pre-wrapped Easter baskets filled with toys and treats for area boys and girls.
“If you’re low on money, you can make stuff to sell and earn a little bit,” Sanchez said. “It’s convenient because they’re already made with love. And you can always add candy and other treats.”
Sanchez, who attends Aldine Middle School, was helping her neighbor Rosia Gonzales, who was filling pre-dyed egg shells with flour and confetti for the traditional cascarones.
Sanchez’s sales skills were on display
Parents should never assume their kids are “too old” for an Easter surprise, she said seriously. “There’s always something a little extra to put in their basket, like hand sanitizer or nail polish,” she advised.
Nearby, in another parking lot, members of the La Luz del Mundo Church were gathered under their pop-up tent in a light rain, selling plastic bags stuffed with brightly-colored eggs.
“It’s strictly a fundraiser for our church,” said member Oscar Ramirez. Shopping in the pop-up markets can supplement the choices shoppers have in traditional stores, he said:
“Everybody goes different places, (but) when they stop here, they are helping us spread the message of Easter.”
The lollapalooza of pop-ups in the Aldine District was definitely in the parking lot of the Studio 59 Fitness and Event Center, where children could pose for photos with the Easter Bunny and grab candy or a stuffed toy.
.A variety of merchants lined the parking lot, with vendors selling homemade cake pops, cupcakes and other goodies; hand-made jewelry, beaded bags and headbands; scented candles, and a variety of blooming plants from azaleas to bougainvillea.
Thirteen-year-old twins Jayden and Jordan Hinojosa were doing a brisk business at their booth, Angel Bakers’ Sweets and Treats. Working with their 9-year old sister, Sophia, the girls had baked and artfully decorated cake pops, cupcakes and cookies in boxes, baskets and pastel-colored buckets.
There was method to their calorie-laden cake treats: The girls are the daughters of Adriana Hinojosa, the owner and class leader of the Studio 59 Fitness Center.
Another booth heralded yet another sign of spring’s arrival: tie-dyed T-shirts featuring the logo of the Houston Astros, whose regular season began this week.
— by Anne Marie Kilday