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Easter egg hunts draw kids, adults alike
ARLINGTON Not only did the new Golden Egg Hunt by the Downtown Arlington Business Association get off to a good start, but the city of Arlingtons traditional Easter egg hunt did so well that its expected to expand next year.
Arlington hosted Easter egg hunts for children and adults alike March 22, as the city of Arlington moved both of its Easter egg hunts for kids to the grassy field between Weston High School and the Stillaguamish Athletic Club.
Terrace Park just got too small for us, said Sarah Hegge, recreation coordinator for the citys Parks and Recreation Department. At the morning Easter egg hunt this year, we got 220 cars, with maybe three to five people per car. Its getting way big. We may need an even bigger area and more eggs next year.
The morning and afternoon Easter egg hunts boasted a combined total of approximately 10,000 plastic eggs and required not only Hegge, but also five members of Support 46 and 20 members of the Arlington Fire Department to set up and run.
Preparations for the 11 a.m. Easter egg hunt began at 8:30 a.m. and included blowing up and tying down balloons, placing the plastic eggs in the hunting grounds, setting out tables of prizes, coffee, hot cocoa and cookies, and ensuring that all of the necessary emergency and medical equipment and personnel were in place before each event.
The Easter egg hunts themselves were relatively brief, lasting only a few minutes each. Children were divided up into four different age groups, including newborns to 2-year-olds, 3- to 5-year-olds, 6- to 8-year-olds and 9- to 12-year-olds, all of whom pressed anxiously against the color-coded ribbons marking each of their areas for Easter egg hunting, before the Arlington Fire Departments starting horn sounded.
As far as Arlington parents Marie Nelson and Ziggy Pohopin were concerned, the volunteers efforts were well worth it. As the morning Easter egg hunt wound down, Nelsons 5-year-old daughter Paige opened her plastic eggs with Pohopins daughters, 6-year-old Zoe and 4-year-old Caitlyn.
The kids just love getting the candy, said Nelson, whos attended the Easter egg hunts the last seven of her nine years in Arlington. This is the first year Paige has really gone after the eggs. She used to be sort of shy.
As Paige socialized loudly with Zoe and Caitlyn, Nelson laughed and admitted her daughter has gotten over her shyness. Nelson added that the different age groups ensure that all ages of children get a real chance to collect their own eggs.
At other Easter egg hunts Ive been to, its started, each kid reached down and picked up an egg and it was done, said Pohopin, who joined his children for the first time at an Arlington Easter egg hunt this year. I was finally able to take the time off work. Just seeing their faces as the horn goes off, and seeing them go off, is a great experience. Its a well-organized event, and they even arranged good weather for us today.
As children like 5-year-old Seth Thomas turned in their golden eggs for prizes, ranging from candy to Target gift cards, other kids lined up to meet the Easter bunny. This year marked the third that Arlingtons Carrie Byrum took photos of her family with the Easter bunny at an egg hunt.
Its my first Easter egg hunt at the airport, Byrum said. Its great that the community does things like this and I like letting the kids go to it. Theres been nothing wrong with it yet.
The Golden Egg Hunt on Olympic Avenue was likewise deemed a success by members of the Downtown Arlington Business Association, who organized the event. The contest received donated prizes from 22 participating businesses, enough that the originally planned prize basket was expanded to three prize baskets.
Weve been trying to do something every month to promote the downtown businesses, said Julie Tate, of Julies Barber Shop on Olympic Avenue. When the event started at 10 a.m., I had people outside of my door before the church bells went off. I had maybe 25 more people come around.
Out of the 22 businesses that participated, Action Sports, Arlington Hardware and Lumber, and Evonnes Gifts and Keepsakes were randomly chosen to be the locations with the three golden eggs, redeemable for prize baskets. This years winners were Jessica Kinney, Eric Lish and Daniel Neisinger, but Tate hopes the first-annual event will yield many more.
It was so much fun to put together and all the businesses were so generous, Tate said. I definitely hope to do it again.
Carla Lowe of Little Italy echoed Tates sentiments.
Its nice to give adults and teens a good time, too, Lowe said. We had one who came in here, form in hand, checking off all the businesses. Activities like this are what set Arlington apart from other communities. We have an actual downtown, with such a variety of businesses, that its a real treasure.