Englewood’s Great Egg Hunt is goodie-grabbing gala

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In keeping with tradition, an Easter Bunny helper will greet kids and their parents when they arrive at the annual Englewood’s Great Egg Hunt for children 8 and under.

The event will be held March 31 at Miller Field, 3600 S. Elati St. Easter falls on April 8.

The cost is $1 per child and the young hunters are asked to bring a container for the loot they collect.

While the gates open at 9:30 a.m., the hunt doesn’t start until 10. Early arrivals find a good spot behind the tape and watch volunteers completing the task of littering the grass with an abundance of plastic eggs, goodies and toys.

Each year, the hunting grounds are clearly marked off as organizers try to make things as fair as possible by dividing the children into four age groups and setting up separate well-marked egg-hunting areas.

There are separate areas for 1- and 2-year-olds, 3- and 4-year-olds, 5- and 6-year-olds and 7- and 8-year-olds. Parents are not allowed to help the older children but can give a hand to the toddlers and very young children, assisting them as the kids collect the goodies.

The grass in each area is littered with vast array of candy, toys, prizes and brightly colored plastic eggs. Each plastic egg contains goodies and, somewhere on the field, there are 15 to 20 special plastic eggs. The children who find the special eggs can redeem them for baskets filled with toys and goodies.

The crowd grows but everyone, except an occasional overeager toddler, stays behind the yellow tape until the loud blast of an air horn triggers the stampede of hunters rushing around and scooping up all the goodies.

The egg hunt scramble doesn’t last long. Usually within 10 minutes or less, each area has been picked clean right down to the blades of grass.

The Great Egg Hunt needs Mother Nature’s cooperation to be a success but, in case the weather is bad, the decision will be made late Friday or early Saturday on whether or not to hold the event. To check on the status, call 303-762-2598.

Over the years, the city has gained a reputation for its egg hunts and the event has grown in popularity each year. For decades, the Englewood Parks and Recreation Department has, with the help of corporate sponsors, put on the big egg hunt for children.

It has always attracted a big crowd of families and children. Last year, 600 to 800 kids attended the event.