“Our egg hunts years ago were a lot smaller,” says Maureen Medeiros, one of the co-chairs of the Rivermark Moms Easter Egg Hunt. “They used to be held at Live Oak Park, and it evolved into something like what we have today. Now we provide Easter baskets. We have a potluck too. Since 2008, the number of kids has more than doubled in size. We had 110 kids doing this in 2008.”
Over 250 children participated in the 10th annual Rivermark Moms Easter Egg Hunt held on April 19 at Thamien Park. Every child was allowed to pick 10 eggs, after volunteers spread over 2,500 prepared eggs across the lawn. A photo booth featuring the Easter Bunny and brunch potluck gave neighbors more reasons to stay out in the sun. The event was put on by a group of dedicated parent volunteers from the Rivermark Moms Club.
“When we first started this, there weren’t that many kids over three years-old in the neighborhood,” says Elizabeth Morris, another co-chair of the egg hunt. “Now, there are many kids over three. The kids in this neighborhood are aging.”
To accommodate both the toddlers and older children, the organizers thoughtfully prepared two egg hunts, one for children two and under and another for children three and over. During the hunt, children rushed to snatch their eggs. Then they sat on the grass to open the eggs and discover the prizes inside.
Happy childhood memories of Easter inspired Medeiros and Morris, who planned for this year’s egg hunt since January.
“As a kid, my family and I always dyed real eggs and had Easter egg hunts at home,” Morris says. “Something I’ve really enjoyed about Easter has been a family [tradition] from my Slovak heritage. I’ve made pasanka- they are Ukrainian-Slovak Easter eggs.”
“The Easter Bunny used to come to our home,” says Medeiros. “It’s just fun to celebrate spring.”
The enthusiasm Morris and Medeiros have for Easter and its customs spread to the children and parents attending the Easter party.
“The best part of the Easter egg hunt was all the toys I got,” says Arthur Morris, 5, who helped his mother set up at the event.
“This is my first year doing the egg hunt with the kids,” says Catherine Harwood, a mother of twins. “The boys had a great time hunting for their eggs, and it’s nice to see the community out sharing food and enjoying the weekend together.”