Annual egg hunt a hopping event

Posted 3/25/09

The Easter Bunny makes a special appearance to hug kids and give them goodies as part of the annual Englewood’s Great Egg Hunt for children 8 and …

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Annual egg hunt a hopping event


The Easter Bunny makes a special appearance to hug kids and give them goodies as part of the annual Englewood’s Great Egg Hunt for children 8 and under that will be held April 4 at Miller Field, 3600 S. Elati St.

While the gates open at 9:30 a.m., the hunt doesn’t start until 10. The early arrivals can stand behind the tape and watch as volunteers continue their task of littering the grass with an abundance of plastic eggs, goodies and toys.

The crowd grows and gets restless as the clock ticks toward the start of the hunt but everyone reluctantly stays behind the yellow tape until the loud blast on an air horn sounds promptly at 10 a.m. The horn blast is the OK for the stampede of hunters to rush and scoop up all the goodies. The cost is $1 per child and the young hunters are asked to bring a container for the loot they collect.

Lisa Turley and her sister Amy Baldwin first attended the egg hunt as children growing up in Englewood. Now, the sisters bring their children to the annual event.

“The date is circled on the calendar and my kids are already getting excited about going to the egg hunt,” Turley said. “My sister and I always meet up and take our kids to the egg hunt and this year, we’ll have a small caravan because two or three neighbors are joining us.

She said she thinks it is great the city holds such a nice family event. She added that for her friends and family, it’s not about all the goodies the kids get but about getting together to have fun because the annual event has become a tradition along with going to lunch together that afternoon.

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.

Each year, as the time to start the hunt gets near, hundreds of kids strain forward, staring longingly at the vast array of candy, toys, prizes and brightly-colored plastic eggs spread around on the grass. 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 baskets filled with toys and goodies..

When the air horn blasts it signals the rush is on. Kids scatter in every direction and every child seems intent on collecting up as many goodies as possible. The mad 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 it 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 8-years-old and younger. It has always attracted a big crowd of families and children. For example, last year, 600 to 800 kids attended the event.


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