OCEANSIDE — Grab your baskets and bunny ears, Oceanside will be celebrating Easter with five egg hunts March 26. The tradition of free city- and community-sponsored egg hunts goes back decades.
Terry Goodman, city parks and recreation special events coordinator, said the city-sponsored egg hunt has been held for as long as he has worked for Oceanside. In the 1970s the hunt included colored hard boiled eggs prepared by local civic groups. Since then it has changed locations to different city parks and baseball fields. Each location brought its own charm and challenges.
For the past five years the city-sponsored egg hunt has been held at Buddy Todd Park and brings more than 3,000 kids each year. The established park has mature trees and rolling hills, which makes it a scenic setting for the hunt. Park grass is not mowed a week prior to the hunt to make it more fun.
“People really enjoy Buddy Todd Park,” Goodman said. “It’s a beautiful park with big trees, and natural areas that lend it to different age groups.”
This year’s egg hunt at Buddy Todd Park includes a fire engine horn starting signal, roving Easter bunny to pose with for family photos, special eggs with tickets for prize baskets, a magic show and a bounce house.
“Kids get so excited, and so do parents,” Goodman said. “It’s all about having fun.”
The four community-sponsored egg hunts at Joe Balderrama Park, Libby Lake Park, Fireside Park and John Landes Park are smaller neighborhood events.
The Joe Balderrama Park egg hunt in the Eastside neighborhood is the second longest running hunt. It is sponsored by the Eastside Neighborhood Association and city neighborhood services. The hunt includes candy filled eggs, and special golden ticket eggs that win the finder a prize basket.
The newest of the five egg hunts is at John Landes Park.
It is sponsored by Save Our Streets faith-based group, Cause of Christ church and city neighborhood services. The egg hunt includes face painting, a bounce house and popcorn.
Goodman advises families to arrive early to find parking, and allow time to locate their kids’ age group egg hunt areas. He added if families have kids who are in different age group categories parents may need to split up to accompany them.
The city-sponsored egg hunt will be held rain or shine. Goodman said families should dress for changing weather conditions, and expect the grass to be wet from morning dew.
All five egg hunts will be held March 26, egg hunt times are listed on the city online calendar. http://www.ci.oceanside.ca.us/cals/
Buddy Todd Park, Mesa Drive and Parnassus Circle, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Joe Balderrama Park, 709 San Diego Street, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Libby Lake Park, 424 Calle Montecito, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Fireside Park, Fireside Street and Parkside Drive, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
John Landes Park, 2855 Cedar Road, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.