State College

Easter egg hunt marks holiday with children’s entertainment

Uma Sood, 9, climbs a rope obstacle to reach a golden Easter egg on Sunday at Blue Springs Park in Boalsburg. The annual egg hunt is coordinated by Zion Lutheran Church and St. John’s United Church of Christ.
Uma Sood, 9, climbs a rope obstacle to reach a golden Easter egg on Sunday at Blue Springs Park in Boalsburg. The annual egg hunt is coordinated by Zion Lutheran Church and St. John’s United Church of Christ. knetzer@centredaily.com

A chilly Easter Sunday does little to slow a child in pursuit of candy.

A overcast, gray sky didn’t hide the dots of brightly colored eggs Sunday during an annual Easter egg hunt coordinated by Zion Lutheran Church and St. John’s United Church of Christ in Boalsburg. About 30 children, from toddlers to grade-schoolers, blanketed Blue Spring Park in their search for the plastic prizes.

Older children were given a majority of the park to search, picking out eggs from trees, goal nets or simply nestled in the grass. The youngest were given the playground, where eggs were scattered on different pieces of equipment.

Tiffany Ishler, of State College, rushed behind her son Dakotah, 5, as he scrambled to scoop up as many eggs as possible. She even lent him her height advantage when he spotted an egg he could not reach.

Ishler, who said she grew up in the church, said she and her family have been attending the egg hunts for some time now. Dakotah, she said, was most happy with his “jackpot” find of about 10 eggs in one spot.

Isher’s other son, Gavin, 7, also did well for himself as he amassed a small pile of candy following his search. His favorite of the stash: M&Ms.

John Pierce, a volunteer with St. John’s, said between 300 and 400 eggs had been hidden around the park, each stuffed with candy donated by the congregation. He credited the church’s youth group for their work in filling and hiding the eggs.

The church has been hosting an Easter egg hunt for about 15 years, he said, and opened it up to the community for the past five years.”

“It’s hard to say how many we usually get for these hunts each year,” he said. “The community is invited, and we get out-of-towners who come in for the holiday.”

He was thankful, he said, that there was no rain during the hunt.

The Sood family — Jaideep; Bhavna; Uma, 9; and Arjun, 4 — also came out of the hunt successful, as Uma clutched her prized find in the form of an oversized golden egg, which contained several smaller eggs. With some luck, she hoped one of the eggs would hold her favorite Easter treat: Laffy Taffy.

Jaideep Sood said he and his family have been participating for about three years. As Boalsburg residents, they aren’t far from the fun, and he was happy to be able to attend this year as he typically works on Easter.

We’re running out of Halloween candy, so now we have some more to keep us stocked up.

Boalsburg resident Jaideep Sood

“We’re running out of Halloween candy,” he said, “so now we have some more to keep us stocked up.”

For the teens of St. John’s youth group, getting to see the children gather eggs is the cap to a fun project that they’ve played a large part in bringing together. The teens are in charge of filling the eggs with candy and finding the best hiding places for them.

Amber Lucas, 15, said she’s been with the church since birth and has graduated from hunting eggs as a child to organizing the hunt. An important part, she said, is keeping the younger kids’ eggs separated from the older kids, as the youngest’s can’t have gum in them.

Every year the group has to come up with new tricks to hide the eggs, said Marissa Willson, 17. Usually, they’re hidden in the playground equipment or trees, but also in the starting pavilion, as many don’t think to look there first.

... to see (the Easter egg hunt) get bigger and bigger and see people appreciate it who don’t even go to our church is amazing.

St. John’s youth group member Marissa Willson

Willson said she was happy to see the hunt grow over the years, saying, “Both Amber and I love our church and what it does for the community, so to see it get bigger and bigger and see people appreciate it who don’t even go to our church is amazing.”

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews

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