ARLINGTON — Arlington’s Easter egg hunt saw throngs of families descend upon the grassy fields adjacent to the Stillaguamish Athletic Club on the morning of Saturday, March 30, as the Arlington Fire Department returned to broadcast the shotgun start for the age-divided egg-hunting areas.
City of Arlington Recreation Manager Sarah Lopez estimated that 500 attendees of all ages managed to pack the fields that day, which led to the customarily brief durations of the egg hunts, in spite of younger and older children each being given their own egg-hunting areas, and generous amounts of space and eggs being set aside for each of the egg-hunting areas.
“We couldn’t coordinate this many people without all of our volunteers,” said Lopez, who thanked members of not only the Arlington Fire Department, but also Cascade Valley Hospital & Clinics, Arlington United Church and Youth Dynamics. “We’ve been setting up since 8 a.m. today, and we have people who come from Marysville and Stanwood to tell us that we offer the best Easter egg hunt. It’s a great kickoff for our spring and summer events, and it lets the members of our community meet their neighbors.”
Jennifer Egger, community relations coordinator for Cascade Valley, singled out the “egg marshals” for particular praise.
“It can be an overwhelming event for the kids,” Egger said on March 30. “It’s very chaotic once it actually starts. The egg marshals distribute the eggs on the fields to make sure that every kid leaves with at least a few eggs in their basket. It’s been exciting to partner with the city on this for the past few years, and I always love seeing the kids in their Easter outfits, especially when they’re reacting to the Easter Bunny. And could we have asked for better weather than we got today?”
Arlington City Council member Ken Klein still remembers appearing in an Arlington Times story on the annual Easter egg hunt back when he was 3 or 4 years old, so it was always a given that this event would become a family tradition for his own children.
“It gives the kids an opportunity to run around and meet new friends,” Klein said. “I see all these smiles, and it’s not raining, which is the best part,” he laughed.
Smokey Point mom Laci Reeves has brought her kids to the Arlington Easter egg hunt for at least three years in a row, and she echoed both Klein and Egger’s compliments of the event.
“There’s a lot of room and space here for the kids to move around,” Reeves said. “Plus, they’ve got it set up so that everyone gets some eggs.”
Sean and Amie Brown have brought their own children from Marysville to the past four Arlington Easter egg hunts.
“The first year we came here, we’d heard about it while we were out and about that day, so we weren’t sure that we were going to make it in time for the start,” Amie Brown said. “We won a prize basket that year, though, so we knew we were coming back,” she laughed. “This is the best one out of all the Easter egg hunts we’ve been to.”
This year’s prize-winners included Maesyn Glowaski and Austin Nyberg in the 0-3 years old age category, and Jannelly Zepeda and Kai Janssen in the 4-6 category, each of whom scored a $20 gift card to Walmart and a chocolate bunny.
Kathleen and Michael Ochoa celebrated their first Easter in Arlington this year, since they’d still been living in California last year.
“I love that they split it up by age, so there’s no pushing or shoving between the kids,” Kathleen Ochoa said. “We worked for Disney in California, and the Easter egg hunts up here are a lot less expensive.”
For Gloria Meyer, this Arlington Easter egg hunt marked yet another holiday without her husband, Lt. Andrew Meyer, who deployed as a member of the USS Nimitz crew earlier that same morning.
“I’m used to it, since it’s part of the job, and I’m proud of him,” Meyer said, as her 11-year-old daughter Eva helped feed Easter candy to the Meyers’ other daughter, 19-month-old Zuri. “We’ve lived in the Arlington area for the past two years and I love it. It’s so community-oriented.”