With more than 16,000 eggs, bags full of candy and treats, and loads of fun, this year’s Egg-stranvaganza at Santa Clara’s Central Park was another great success.
“This is actually our first year here and I wish I would have known before, but this is awesome,” said Lulu Cervantes, who attended the event for the first time with her five-year-old son, Andre.
“I had fun picking up all the eggs,” said Andre Cervantes.
Lulu and Andre were just one of many first-timers to the City of Santa Clara’s annual event. The two came for the egg hunt, but stayed to enjoy some of the other perks of the festival including a visit to the Santa Clara Library’s Bookmobile, where they picked up a few books.
“We’re really proud of the event. It’s a community event,” said Susan Diatte of the Parks & Recreation Department. “New this year, we had vendors.”
The vendors included companies that work with the Parks & Recreation Department year-round; many of them brought along interactive displays including a gymnastics course for young gymnasts courtesy of California Sports Center (CSC).
“It’s a lot of fun to see a lot of new faces and a lot of old ones too,” said Michelle Pitts, manager of the CSC in Santa Clara.
For the third year in a row, the festival also included a drop-in egg hunt for special needs children and children two years and younger. Kids were able to hunt for eggs at their own pace and then trade them in for a prize.
“It’s fun seeing all the kids,” said Colleen Payaqui, a member of the City’s Therapeutic Recreation Department, which helped oversee that portion of the egg hunt.
The egg hunt for the older kids was fast and furious, with each child going in with their own plan.
“I’m going to shake an egg and then put it in,” said five-year-old Tanishka.
“I’m going to go there and pick the eggs,” said six-year-old Dakshita.
“Purple, pink, blue, and red,” said three-year-old Shea Rose Greene when asked what color eggs she was looking for.
“A golden egg, I hope,” said seven-year-old Anthony. His younger brother nodded in agreement.
“I’m going to race my brother,” said five-year-old Andrew.
The egg hunt was kicked off by Miss Santa Clara 2019 Sydney Johnson and Miss Silicon Valley 2019 Alyssa Vasquez, who were joined on stage by the Easter Bunny. It also included remarks by Mayor Lisa Gillmor, who thanked the local Kiwanis Club for sponsoring the egg hunt.
There was one small hiccup, when the three and four year olds rushed in before the starting horn was sounded by Mayor Gillmor setting off a chain reaction on all three fields. Despite the early start, the egg hunt was considered a rousing success.
The two-hour event required the time of more than 40 volunteers as well as dozens of employees from the Parks & Recreation Department.
“This is a very volunteer intense event,” said Derek Bryant, who was in charge of organizing the volunteers.
First-time volunteer Ruth Patel was impressed with how quickly everything happened.
“I was surprised when they all ran to the middle,” said Patel.
This is the 44th year the City has hosted an Easter egg hunt.