News Old - DO NOT USE - The Coast News Rancho Santa Fe

Oceanside carries on tradition of two egg hunts

OCEANSIDE — Two area egg hunts gave Oceanside youngsters twice the fun to scramble for eggs April 3.
The first egg hunt began at 9:30 a.m. at Joe Balderama Park. Children toed the start line until the signal to go was given, and then off they went. Close to 4,000 eggs were scattered on the park lawn that was sectioned off in age group hunt areas.
“We’re expecting a pretty good size turnout,” said Louie Chavez, Parks and Recreation resource manager, before families arrived. “It starts at 9:30 and by 9:50 it’s done.”
At 10 a.m. the second egg hunt started at Buddy Todd Park.
Egg hunt areas were set up in roped off grassy knolls for 3- to 4-year-olds, 5- to 6-year-olds, 6- to 8-year-olds, and 9- to 11-year-olds. Each section had three golden eggs that entitled the finder to an Easter basket full of prizes. “It’s a really big thing,” Jesse Montanez, recreation supervisor, said. “We love doing it.”
Parks and Recreation staff handpicked prizes to put in the Easter baskets and brought extra treats to the hunts for egg hunters turned up empty handed.
There was more fun for families to enjoy after the hunt at Buddy Todd Park. After collecting eggs there was a magic show, fire engine tour, water conservation handouts and an Easter Bunny to hug.
An estimated 500 kids showed up at each egg hunt. Parks and Recreation staff and volunteers began setting up the egg hunts before 7:45 a.m. “We have it down to clockwork,” Montanez said. After 10 hours of planning and preparation, children scoop the eggs up within minutes. “It’s fulfilling to see the kids have a good time,” Montanez said.
The dual egg hunts have been a tradition for more than 20 years.
“It’s really an excellent family experience,” Councilman Jack Feller said. Feller was at the egg hunt with four of his grandsons. “I’m sure glad Oceanside does it.”