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In Clinton, it’s the thrill of the hunt

Bryson Taylor, 3, Zachary Maher, 1, and Aaron Maher, 3, sort their collection of eggs, looking for prize winners.  - Jim Larsen/The Record
Bryson Taylor, 3, Zachary Maher, 1, and Aaron Maher, 3, sort their collection of eggs, looking for prize winners.
— image credit: Jim Larsen/The Record

Just as many smiles as plastic eggs were cracked under sunny skies Saturday for the annual egg hunt sponsored by the Clinton Chamber of Commerce.

From crawlers to 12-year-old warriors, the kids swept the fields at Dan Porter Park clean of nearly 2,000 prize-filled plastic eggs in mere minutes after the starting time of high noon.

Special gold and silver eggs offered special prizes, including play guitars and huge stuffed bunnies.

Kathy Craven, who chaired the event for the first time ever, said she learned one important lesson for future hunts. “They’d rather have a three-inch chocolate bunny than a big plush bunny,” she said with a laugh Monday as she recalled the event.

Craven was thrilled by the hundreds of kids who flocked to the scene, egged on no doubt by the rare sunny skies. “I did everything wrong but it was a perfect crowd,” she said, attributing the turnout to the sunshine. The starting time was later than tradition dictated, but nobody seemed to care.

Kids impatiently twisted every egg open, popping candy into their mouths and pockets while looking for “prize” notes that mean there were even better offerings at hand. Winners patiently waited in long lines as

volunteers handed out coupons for prizes donated by merchants, among them gold fish, sundaes, hot chocolate and milkshakes. The lines often froze in place as a child contemplated his or her answer to the question, “Which one do you want?”

There were several mini-crises that were dealt with deftly by volunteers, Craven said. For example, more kids than expected showed up in the 2 and under division, so a volunteer scurried around to made sure every baby  received one of the 48 rubber duckies ordered for the event.

The egg hunt was started approximated 18 years ago by the late Nancy Brown, and one of the first hunters, now grown, was introduced to the crowd. For the past few years Stephanie Cook organized the event, which was turned over to Craven this year.

As the new event chair, Craven was impressed by the amount of work required to put on the hunt every year, but she found that all the young smiles made it worthwhile. “The hunt is a thrill ride,” she said. “It’s the thrill of the hunt.”

 

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