Egg hunt team has ducks in a row |

Egg hunt team has ducks in a row

Sandi Hoover

Twelve-thousand plastic eggs stuffed with candy are ready to go – come rain or shine – for Carson City’s 35th annual Easter egg hunt.

The event kicks off at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 7, for special-needs children, and the main event starts promptly at noon, at the Centennial Park fields near the east end of Arrowhead Drive.

“We bought most of the eggs already stuffed this year, but I probably won’t do that again,” said Bobby Bean, the Kiwanis Club’s event coordinator. “I’m not happy about what was in them.”

Children aren’t likely to be disappointed, however.

The goody-filled eggs will be distributed evenly on four fields, and each field will be swept clean, usually within the first minute, as youngsters scramble to fill their baskets and buckets with as many eggs as they can get their hands on.

“We’re going to get somebody up on the hill with a camera this year so we can post it to YouTube and Facebook,” Bean said.

Kiwanis had help this year, as it has for the past three years.

Eleven girls ages 8-12 from Dayton’s Girl Scout Troop 445 got involved Monday night by helping to stuff an additional 2,200 eggs for the big hunt.

“They have to have service hours to earn their badges,” said troop leader Kadee Mason, “and the girls love it. We sort the eggs by color and then make a contest out of it. We stuffed all the eggs in 1 1/2 hours.”

Four major changes have been made in recent years to improve the Easter egg hunt experience for the whole family:

– In previous years, the egg hunt was held at Governor’s Field, but it was a little chaotic with almost all the age groups on one field. The event eventually was moved to Centennial Park, where the noon hunt is divided among four fields for four age groups: 0-3, 4-5, 6-7, and 8 and up.

– Parents are no longer allowed on the field. “We had to change that to make it safer, because the kids were getting run over by adults, and the parents were grabbing eggs for their kids,” Bean said. “We’ve made it more of a kids’ event, because we get the kids all lined up on the fields and when it starts, they run toward their parents.”

– Plastic eggs have replaced hard-boiled ones “for health reasons,” Bean said.

– The decision was made three years ago to hold the egg hunt on the Saturday before Easter Sunday so that families could go to church together on Sunday morning and enjoy their Easter meal with relatives and friends.

The plastic eggs contain mostly candy, but some have bracelets and toys inside, and there are a few stuffed animals on the field for the youngest age group, he said.

“I start buying candy at Halloween, then more at Christmas and Valentine’s Day, so we get pretty much everything for half price,” he said.

Families are advised to arrive 20-30 minutes early to allow time to walk to the fields because there is only one way in and out of the one-way loop, and parking is usually backed up as far as the Eagle Valley Golf Course clubhouse.