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Citys annual Easter egg hunt draws usual large crowds
MARYSVILLE Its just a lot of fun, said Colton Bailey, 8, who added it took him about 10 minutes to find his limit of eight plastic Easter eggs.
No one was keeping an exact count, but city Parks and Recreation Director Jim Ballew figured Colton was one of at least a thousand kids to pore through Jennings Memorial Park for the citys annual Easter egg hunt on March 22.
Again Ballew wasnt positive, but he believes this year marked at least the 15th annual Marysville Easter happening, one of the biggest events the city puts on throughout the year.
For the event, the Easter bunny milled through the large crowd, handing out eggs and posing for lots and lots of pictures. Kids could stop by a coloring table and also pick up some balloon creations put together by City Councilman John Soriano. Hot chocolate seemed to be the official Easter egg hunt beverage.
As has become the norm, Jennings Park was broken down into three areas, each one roped off and set aside for a specific age group.
For the youngest egg hunters, the parks petting zoo was the place to be. For the older kids like Colton, the garden section of the park was the spot to roam. Volunteers easily could be spotted scattering bright, plastic eggs around each area as kids moved in and out.
For the younger hunters, eggs pretty much were placed in plain sight.
We just sort of toss them around, said Andrea Hartland, a recreation coordinator for the city. Older kids such as Colton did have to search at least a little to find their eggs.
The kids, they migrate through pretty quickly, Ballew said.
Despite the large crowds, the events announced duration was only an hour. Actually, volunteers threw open the gates to the three hunting grounds about 15 minutes early. Outside each area, lines started forming more than a half-hour before the announced staring time. Toward the end of the event, some folks had been waiting for 45 minutes or more. There seemed to be no complaints, however.
I dont think she minds waiting at all, said Marysville resident Anne Cross, answering for 6-year-old daughter Haley, suddenly shy about talking to a reporter.
I think itll be fun, Haley eventually spoke up, adding she hoped to snag one of the bigger prizes available.
Candy filled each egg scattered around the park. But many eggs also contained coupons for dozens upon dozens of large Easter baskets filled with even more candy and toys, baskets donated by sponsors such as Grandview Village.
Other sponsors included Hollywood Video and Garlic Jims Pizza, which held a grand opening for their new Marysville restaurant just a few days prior to the egg hunt. Still, Ballew and Hartland said the egg hunts major sponsor was the Marysville Noon Rotary.
I dont think wed be doing this without them, Ballew said.
When the city first started throwing Easter egg hunts, Ballew noted the primary sponsor was the local Lions Club. And the city used actual, hard boiled and hand-colored Easter eggs.
For various reasons, Ballew said smiling, we decided we needed to move to plastic.