It would appear that Easter has arrived a little early at Connie Bialecki's house.

"I am knee-deep in bunnies," said Mrs. Bialecki, who has been painting the ceramic figurines in preparation for the Easter Market, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow at Carroll County Agricultural Center on Smith Avenue in Westminster.

For the past three months, the Westminster ceramicist has been helping coordinate the event, the first of four seasonal markets planned this year.

"We will have flowers, homemade candy, beautifully decorated cakes, local produce and baked goods," she said.

Other items for sale will include hand-painted Ukrainian Easter eggs, wood crafts, pottery and jewelry, she said.

Vendors Maria and Dale Kiler, who own and operate Warm Touches Crafts and Antiques in Manchester, will be selling decorative baskets and wreaths.

"This is our sixth year [at the market] and we always do real well," Mrs. Kiler said. "We'll have a lot of handmade spring baskets. People find they are great to put on a patio or deck."

Door decorations are also popular, and Mrs. Kiler expects her grape ivy wreaths and twig wreaths to sell out quickly.

She also makes eucalyptus swags -- garlands of dried or silk flowers and eucalyptus leaves. Swags are often hung over a mantel or fireplace as a decorative piece, she said.

Westminster resident Susan Koch, who decorates cakes for weddings and other occasions, will be taking orders at her booth in addition to selling confections.

Cookies, cupcakes and candy eggs in pastel hues will be for sale, in addition to gingerbread treats in the shape of bunnies and chicks.

Mrs. Koch will personalize cupcakes and cookies upon request.

Flowers will be in bloom, too.

Market visitors will find Easter lilies, primroses, violets, hyacinth, tulips, daffodils and pansies.

The Easter Bunny will mingle with young visitors and hand out treats, and an Easter basket giveaway is also featured.

Each customer will receive a lollipop upon entering the market. If it has a colored stem, that person will receive a basket.

To determine the winner of the grand prize, a large Easter basket, visitors must guess the number of jelly beans in a jar.

Planning for the market began in early January, when Mrs. Bialecki and Anita Bullock, also a market manager, started recruiting vendors and printing fliers.

The county extension service and center's board also lend their support, said Mrs. Bialecki, who has been planning markets in Carroll for the past 18 years. Tomorrow's event marks the 24th year for the Farmers' Market and the third for the Easter Market.

The market schedule for the rest of the year includes the Spring Market on April 29; the Summer Market, which will be open every Saturday from June 17 to Sept. 2; and the Christmas Market, which begins Nov. 4 and runs through Dec. 16.

The Easter Market will be open rain or shine. Breakfast and lunch will be served all day. Admission is free. Information: 848-7748 or 875-2158.

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