For the seventh year in a row, the State College YMCA branch’s Easter egg hunt made a splash.
While most include children running around collecting eggs on the ground, the YMCA version includes something different — water.
The YMCA Easter underwater egg hunt is a chance for the kids to swim to collect the eggs and win donated prizes that are randomly hidden within the eggs.
YMCA Aquatics Director Ray Carroll said this change incorporates more exercises and infuses some fun into the program.
The free event is first-come, first-served with preregistration and the demand continues to grow. Because it’s a free program, it allows the YMCA to give back to residents, Carroll said.
“It gives us a chance to kind of show our mission in the community,” he said. “We’re all about helping the community.”
Sponsors of this year’s hunt included Growing Tree, Animal Kingdom, What a Blast Lazer Tag, Northland Bowl, McDonald’s, Weis, Chick-Fil-A and Students Engaging Students.
The event is capped at 200 registrations, but Carroll said about 75 percent of those people generally show up.
The hunts are broken into multiple heats for age groups between 6 months and 12 years. Each hunt features about 15-20 kids swimming through and dropping eggs into their baskets.
Carroll said it would be fun to put all the kids in the water at once but they try to make the event as safe as possible. If any kids are not strong swimmers they were encouraged to wear life vests.
And many of the kids had a great time.
Samantha Hayes, 11, likes to swim. She said the idea was better than a traditional Easter egg hunt.
She said she had a great time swimming through the water, trying to get the eggs and won some Silly Bandz.
Her mother Erica Hayes, of St. Marys, said they love the State College YMCA, so they try to go to as many events there as possible.
The family was in town for Blue-White weekend and Erica Hayes said they thought the event sounded interesting so they decided to give it a try.
“It’s great. (The kids) love it,” she said of the event. “It was very well organized.”