Traditional egg hunts prove short and sweet for county kids

By BELLA LEVAVI and JULIAN MENDOZA

Staff Writers

Published: 04-09-2023 3:06 PM

Children scrambled for eggs across Franklin County throughout the holiday weekend, making Easter egg hunts a short-lived thrill as families flocked outdoors to enjoy the mild weather.

Greenfield

The Episcopal Church of Saints James and Andrew’s annual egg hunt, held after Sunday’s 10 a.m. service, was over in a flash.

“Once I see something, before it’s my turn, I see them, and then I run to it and grab it,” said Greenfield resident Aurelia Wright, 6, who plotted her hunt as the group’s youngest participants took their head start.

Aurelia’s strategy proved fruitful — she counted 42 candy-filled eggs in her basket by the time the field was bare.

“I’m really happy!” she announced, marveling at her stock of sweets.

The event’s youth organizers estimated they’d placed between 250 and 300 eggs around the church’s grounds. Many were positioned out in the open, while others were tucked away in bushes, set atop tables and camouflaged against similar colors.

“It was pretty easy,” Hendrick Carew, 13, said of setup efforts. “We sat them down in random places, basically.”

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“It’s cool to see all the kids running around and seeing the things we put down,” added Desmond Drake, 12.

“I like that there’s some cool eggs,” commented Montague resident Evie Rood, 6.

Parents’ smiles were every bit as bright as their children’s as the egg hunt commenced. “Seeing the joy in the kids’ eyes” was the best part of Easter morning, said Chad Wright, Aurelia’s father.

“It’s a wonderful morning, and a wonderful feeling of spring and new life and joy,” said Jeremiah Rood, Evie’s father. “It’s wonderful to be here and it’s great that the church did this for the kids. It’s by the children, for the children.”

Amber Wright, Aurelia’s mother, expressed gratitude for the “beautiful day,” as well as the church, which she said provided an “awesome” morning sermon. Collecting Aurelia’s candy as she prepared to leave the church, she laughed as her daughter pranced about the lawn, buzzing with leftover energy.

“I’m sad because it will be a long time until next Easter,” said Aurelia, returning to the picnic table to reclaim her spoils.

New Salem

“Lots of luck with all the sugar,” TaMara Conde, organizer of an egg hunt around the New Salem common, said to the families leaving with baskets full of candy on Saturday morning.

The New Salem egg hunt has be held for more than 20 years, Conde explained. She said many young ones who were seen participating in the egg hunt in the past now bring their children to hunt for the colorful plastic eggs.

For days leading up to the event, Conde and her husband stuff 700 plastic eggs with candy. With about 15 children in attendance, split between two age groups, Conde said the turnout was good and fun was had by all.

“The 10-year-olds can really put it away,” she said.

Northfield

The Northfield Kiwanis Club’s egg hunt commenced at Northfield Elementary School on Saturday with a countdown from 10, and ended almost as quickly as it began.

“The hunt is like Thanksgiving,” said Kiwanis Club President Denis Murphy. “You cook all day and it’s gone in no time.”

The school field was divided into large lanes for the dozens of children in attendance. Each lane allowed children and their peers to join in on the fun without having to compete with older kids.

Volunteers fill plastic eggs for about two weeks before the big day. Murphy said the Kiwanis Club bought about $150 worth of candy for the event.

“We are all about kids,” he said, referring to the Kiwanis Club’s mission.

Murphy noted the egg hunt’s turnout has been growing following a pandemic-induced hiatus.

“This is just one of the events we do,” he said, “along with scholarships and other work for the community.”

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-930-4231 or jmendoza@recorder.com. Bella Levavi can be reached at 413-930-4579 or blevavi@recorder.com.

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