The event is hosted by Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church and has been open to the public for five years, according to Kristi Estes, director of older children ministries.
Estes also said that this was the first year the church has partnered with Adapt to Play, a nonprofit organization dedicated to child physical activity. There was a special Adapt to Play egg hunt prior to the open hunt for mobility-challenged kids.
“Our event has grown every year,” said Estes. “We are typically in Founders Park. With the rain this year, ETSU was generous enough to open the mini-dome to us. I think it is just a rousing success. If the kids are laughing and having fun and no one has gotten hurt, we have succeeded.”
That was in fact the case. More than a hundred families were milling about with smiles on their faces as the kids ran unabashed, carrying baskets and buckets full of bunny eggs. The Easter Bunny was on hand for pictures, taking a short break from his busy weekend.
The rain and change of location did not dampen the spirits of those in attendance. The children wore non-stop ear-to-ear smiles. Tilly Wood, the 3-year-old daughter of John and Maggie Wood, said that her favorite part was hunting the eggs. She was a little intimidated by the Easter Bunny but thought the Chic-Fil-A cow mascot with bunny ears was hilarious.
“I think that was a home run,” John Wood said. “There is a ton of space and kiddos running around everywhere.”
Maggie Wood added, “It was freezing. There is no way we could have done it outside. We would not have come if it were outside.”
The church’s goal was to bring the community together to celebrate Easter and spring in a “great way,” Estes said. She went on to say that the event is a way to bring the community out for a little fun and something for kids to look forward to. There was a special Adapt to Play Egg Hunt at 10 a.m. before a traditional hunt at 10:30 a.m.
The special hunt was for kids with mobility challenges. Organizers outfitted plastic eggs with magnets and other trickery to assist with picking up the eggs. This allows those that are wheelchair bound or who cannot bend to hunt eggs.
Afterward the traditional hunt began. Brothers Maddox, 9, and Mason Francis, 10, enjoyed the hunt, but Mason said that his favorite part was eating the candy. They met the Easter Bunny and that was fun.
“The martial arts thing, kicking it,” said Maddox about his favorite thing. He was referencing one of the multiple displays at the event.
Their parents were happy they had fun and laughed at the boy’s answers. The event wound down at 11:30 a.m. as more rain rolled into the region. Families on their way out were receiving invitations and free kids’ meal coupons at a couple of area restaurants.