3-minute eggs

SURREY It didn’t take very long but that was just fine by the large number of youth that turned out for Surrey’s first annual Easter egg hunt.

The event was held in the city park where organizers had placed several hundred plastic Easter eggs throughout the grounds. The eager children found the eggs in a rapid dash, filling baskets with their colorful discoveries.

“It was really quick. I think they had all the children done in about three minutes,” laughed Nicole Wald of Surrey.

Wald had brought her 21-month-old son, Owen, to the park to participate in the festivity. Neither she nor Owen were disappointed.

“It was a blast!” exclaimed Wald. “This is great. I’m so happy the city could put it on. Owen wasn’t sure it was worth it, but when he saw the candy he was all for it.”

Workers had cleaned up the park, which until recently was covered in snow. Despite cloudy skies the forecasted rain cooperated by staying away for the 1 p.m. start. Even temperatures in the mid-40s didn’t deter participation. Organizers knew the event would be popular with children but they had another reason in mind for hosting the hunt too.

“We’ve got 450 new residents in town,” said Kimberly Shaw, one of the event organizers. “It’s a good way for the residents to meet. The kids know each other from school. We decided to try and get the residents together and kids always seem to do that. It worked! It was wonderful!”

Judging by all the smiles on the faces of the children and the approving nods of their parents, the event was indeed a success. Some of the eggs contained candy and others small certificates that could be redeemed for other items.

Among the participants were Carin Ost and her young daughter, Brooklyn, of Norwich. Carin said she brought her 2-year-old daughter so she could enjoy some fun. She did.

“She beat her brother in getting eggs,” said Ost. “She had more eggs than he did and he’s 3.”

Children were running back and forth in the park following the Easter egg hunt. Some were eager to see what others had found. Some darted from one piece of playground equipment to another.

“They had a blast! Now they want to play on the equipment that’s been hidden under a pile of snow all winter,” said Shaw, shortly after the egg gathering was completed. “We didn’t know what to expect since it was the first one.”

Easter egg hunters were released in three different age groups. That way the youngest group, those under age 4, didn’t have to worry about competing against faster, older kids. It made for an enjoyable, although brief, activity in the park. Shaw credited Surrey’s senior citizens, the park board and the city for their cooperation.

“We had a good turnout. We did just about 1,100 eggs and I think they found them all. It’ll be bigger and better next year,” said Shaw.