- The Washington Times - Friday, April 3, 2015

Some cheerful numbers to consider this weekend: 80 percent of Americans will celebrate Easter, providing a $16.4 billion bump to the economy. That includes $2.2 billion on jellybeans, chocolate bunnies and Peeps alone - and $2.9 billion on those fancy hats, new shoes and suits. When the shopping’s done, the average celebrant spends $141 on all those many Easter necessities. So says the National Retail Federation.

Yes, there’s a poll. On Easter Sunday, 58 percent will gather with friends and family, 54 percent cook a holiday feast, 51 percent will go to church and 42 percent will watch TV, 31 percent will stage an Easter egg hunt and 15 percent go out to eat. Seven percent will take in a movie, 4 percent must work, and 3 percent will simply “do nothing.”

And in an unrelated matter, two third of Americans prefer solid chocolate bunnies to the hollow kind, and 89 percent eat the ears first; 81 percent of parents admit snitching candy from their child’s Easter basket - all this according to the National Confectioners Association. And for those who wonder, Jelly Belly now makes 100 flavors of jellybeans, including mojito, buttered popcorn and strawberry cheesecake varieties.

And Peeps? Just Born, the manufacturer behind the soft but iconic marshmallow bonbons, says it produces enough Peeps candies in one year to circle the earth three times.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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