Easter eggs don’t last long

Young egg hunters rifle through Priest Point’s offerings, find candy, prizes inside

rboone@theolympian.comApril 21, 2014 

The Easter egg hunt at Priest Point Park in Olympia, which was attended by hundreds of children and parents Sunday, started promptly at 2 p.m.

By 2:07 — at least for children ages 1 to 3 — it was all over.

The eggs were gone. Eager children were opening them to find a surprise inside or were being photographed by parents, sometimes posing with the Easter Bunny, who was busy distributing more gifts.

Sunday’s event, one of several Easter egg hunts in the Olympia area over the weekend, was organized by the Olympia Fraternal Order of Eagles No. 21, the group that occupies the historic Eagles building at Fourth Avenue and Plum Street.

For almost 50 years, the group has held an Easter egg hunt, said past President David Rashott, who was busy Sunday making regular announcements to the crowd via the public address system.

The egg hunt started years ago as an event tailored to the children whose parents were Eagles, Rashott said. In those days, dozens of hard-boiled eggs would be painted and distributed for the kids to find. Over the years, it grew to become a community event.

For Sunday’s gathering, more than 21,000 eggs were divided among four age groups: ages 1-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12.

Inside those eggs were candy as well as tickets indicating that they had won a prize.

About 50 volunteers gathered earlier in the month to stuff all those eggs, Rashott said.

He thought attendance was down slightly from last year because it wasn’t as warm, although it didn’t rain Sunday.

Nearly a half-inch of rain fell in the Olympia area Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. The rain left the park damp but not too muddy.

Priest Point Park also hosted an Easter egg hunt for the nonprofit South Sound Parent to Parent, which offers support to Thurston and Mason county families with children who have special needs. About 60 people participated in the event at noon, which featured ages 1 to 64, said Sylvia Heiser, a coordinator for the group.

“Nobody walked away unhappy,” she said.

Chris Swearingen of the Eagles said it was the group’s third year of working with Parent to Parent on its Easter egg hunt.

Some children won grand prizes, including a laptop and tablet computer Sunday, organizers said.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 rboone@theolympian.com

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