Michael Turner, 3, of Soldotna, makes a grab for a stuffed animal during a community Easter egg hunt Saturday. Turner won the prize after finding one of only six plastic eggs with prize slips in them among the 3,000 eggs that were hidden as part of the event.
Photo by Joseph Robertia
Under sunny skies and in warm weather, young and old alike had an “egg-cellent” time Saturday during the Kenai Convention and Visitors Bureau Community Easter Egg Hunt.
“We knew it would be a nice day. We just knew it,” said Mya Renken, executive director of the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center.
Like the weather, Renken said she believed attendance for the egg hunt would not be a problem. A successful egg hunt was held two years ago, but organizers took last year off due to a hectic schedule of events at Easter time, much to the dismay of many central Kenai Peninsula residents, Renken said.
“We were inundated with calls, so we knew is was a very popular event,” she said.
Popular was perhaps an understatement as 300 to 400 people showed up for the event with empty baskets in hand.
At noon the crowd was turned loose in search of the 3,000 plastic eggs hidden around the visitors center and throughout Old Town Kenai. Some eggs were tucked into melting snow berms. Others were squirreled away under low-hanging spruce bows. Still others were hidden in thick stands of willow.
Jaydin Mead, 4, of Kenai, was "egg-static" with his finds.
Photo by Joseph Robertia
Older children raced to the front of the pack to gather the most eggs, while younger children lagged behind, but were not shorted.
“We had volunteers going out to resupply,” said Natasha Ala, the visitors center’s program and exhibits coordinator.
Inside the eggs was candy, tiny toys and for a few lucky boys and girls, something else.
“We had six eggs that we had slips of paper inside for special prizes,” Renken said.
These prizes included multipacks of chocolate bunnies or oversized stuffed animals. Three-year-old Michael Turner, of Soldotna, was the first recipient of one of these special prizes, and had no problem picking his item.
“He went for the stuffed duck,” said his aunt, Michelle Turner.
Jaydin Mead, 4, of Kenai, and his cousin, Maya Montague, 2, didn’t find one of the special eggs, but they gathered plenty of the others more than a dozen and the were “egg-static” with their finds.
“We found lots of eggs. It seemed like there was plenty for everyone and lots of easy ones for the little kids to find,” Melissa Montague said.
Clint Montague said he was happy they had decided to attend the event with the children.
“It was a lot of fun and good for the kids to be around other kids,” he said.
Montague added that Saturday’s event was a good warmup for the real deal the next day.
“This is just the start of our Easter celebration. After this we’re going home to dye eggs and tomorrow we’ll do it again,” he said.
While the event was fun while it lasted, it didn’t last long, but Renken said this is par for when you turn a bunch of excited youngsters loose in a egg hunt.
“It’s fast and furious. Our first year it only lasted five minutes, this one has already gone on for twenty-five,” she said, as people still milled about looking for any eggs that may have been missed by the masses.
These late finds were few and far between, though. Maybe the Easter bunny will bring more.
Joseph Robertia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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