MARSHALL – There’s just something about an Easter egg hunt that seems to appeal to people of all ages. Whether it’s because of the opportunity to be outdoors, to enjoy the activity itself or to spend time with family, there was no shortage of interest and attendance at three Easter egg hunts around the area on Saturday.
“It’s just being outside, I think, and it’s like a big treasure hunt,” said Roseann Schauer, assistant park manager at Lake Shetek State Park, where hundreds showed up to enjoy an Easter egg hunt in the 70-degree weather.
Though she’s worked with the Department of Natural Resources for 18 years, Schauer moved back to the area and began her duties in December, making this Easter event the first for her.
“I think it was an excellent turnout,” she said. “It’s the biggest turnout we’ve ever had, I guess. I think the weather had a lot to do with it. You couldn’t ask for better weather (Saturday).”
The hunt, sponsored by Friends of Lake Shetek, Currie Towne and Country and Shetek State Park, was split into four age categories and was sprawled throughout the Zuya Group Center area and two large picnic areas.
“We hid 2,150 eggs,” Schauer said. “We had candy and little tattoos inside the eggs. And there were also prizes. Two eggs in each age group had a special slip of paper inside. The kids who found those could claim it for a Friends of Lake Shetek T-shirt.
Cousins Aidan Swenson, Jaelynn Kline, Jaxson Kline, Wyatt Thompson, Tyler Wilson and Cameron Wilson, who are from the Currie and Slayton area, were among those searching for eggs throughout the park.
“I’ve been bringing the kids the last couple of years,” Alicia Sell said. “They love it. They all run around. It’s hard because they pull you in all direction.”
Sell said she appreciates that organizers separate the age groups.
“Otherwise, the older kids would get all the candy,” she said. “This was a good turnout. I think the kids enjoy the whole running around looking for eggs, the chase. But they like getting candy, too.”
A large number of families also turned out for an Easter egg hunt sponsored by Marshall Independent and Hy-Vee on Saturday morning.
“It was fun,” Kaia Williams said.
Organizers roped off four separate areas near Hy-Vee, where four age groups of children took turns picking up large amounts of candy and eggs.
“I got lots of candy,” Tai Warnke said.
This year marked the third that the event took place and the second that brothers Max, Jack and Calvin Drown, of St. Cloud, came to the egg hunt while visiting grandparents in Marshall.
“It’s very exciting,” dad Jeff Drown said. We’ve been coming for the last two years. They do a nice job.”
Max Drown remembers hitting the jackpot last year.
“I got a sticker on the egg last year, so I got the grand prize,” he said. “I was in the paper for it. It was a swivel board.”
While children kept the candy they collected, eggs could be turned in for prizes. Annsleigh Wisdom enjoyed spending a few minutes with the Easter Bunny.
For some kids, including youngsters Olivia Saad El-Dein, Alexis Ternes and Kayle Ternes, the best part was just hanging out with their friends.
“I brought them out to get some eggs,” mom Teresa Ternes said. “We went last year, too. They’re just happy they found their friends.”
A first-ever Easter egg hunt at Holy Redeemer School was also a huge success, despite the cooler and breezier conditions in the morning.
“I think it went really well, especially for how windy it is,” Marshall High School senior Rachel Trost said. “I had a lot of kids at my station, which was face-painting.
“And the bubbles went really well. I’d say it was a good turnout, especially for the first time.”
Trost and a number of other high school students helped to organize the event.
“I helped plan it,” Trost said. “I am part of the Youth Advisory Committee and part of our job is to think of new activities to get younger members from our church and community to be active. And I think Easter egg hunts make people happy.”
Committee adviser Amanda Castro noted that the committee typically planned activities for middle school-age students.
“We said, ‘we haven’t done anything for the elementary, so what do you want to do for them?'” Castro said. “The first thing they said was an Easter egg hunt. So we started working on this in January or February.”
Castro said she has been impressed with the students’ effort, pointing out that they took the initiative to advertise and also gather the prizes and donations.
“They’ve just run with the idea,” she said. “They also recruited their peers to help run it. They even devised a way to make sure everyone was able to participate.”
Castro said that instead of having candy in the eggs hidden outside, there were tickets place inside.
“The kids get to redeem them for prizes,” she said. “It was a highly successful event for the youth to pull off.”
Even though many more children than they expected showed up, organizers didn’t miss a beat.
“There were actually more people than we were expecting, but that was really good,” MHS senior Alyssa Thielges said. “We ran out of eggs several times, so we had to redistribute them again quickly. The kids were running around and having fun.”
MHS sophomore Monica Timmerman noted that the prizes included books, little plastic Frisbees and stuffed animals. Besides the egg hunt and face-painting, activities also included a coloring contest, running games, a bunny craft and sidewalk painting.
“It was something the whole family could participate in,” Castro said. “It was for kids up through fourth-grade.”
The bubble station ended up being a highlight, perhaps because the windy conditions were perfect for bubble-blowing.
“The kids really liked the bubbles,” Timmerman said. “The kids all got six tickets (free) because we wanted to see which station was the most popular. They’d give us a ticket and then go pick out a bubble want. There were tubs of bubbles, so they just blew them around.”
After playing with the bubbles for a few minutes, cousins Lennon, Hayle, Holly, Kingston and Hayden Gjertson went searching for Easter eggs. Their first-ever Easter egg hunt turned out to be a memorable one.
“It was good,” Lennon Gjertson said.