Here comes Peter Cottontail
More than 350 children, parents and grandparents braved the arctic temperatures to hunt eggs at the Jefferson County Community Center on Saturday. The hunt for nearly 6,000 eggs began at 10 a.m. following a pancake and sausage breakfast with Peter Cottontail. Peter sat for several hours offering photo opportunities for all the youngsters who ventured toward the white rabbit and his huge basket of holiday treats.
Sponsored by Jefferson County Parks and Recreation, the annual event has taken place for 18 years.
According to Director Jennifer Myers, the event was held at Morgan’s Grove Park before moving to Sam Michael’s Park in 2007 with the construction of the community center there.
“This is a wonderful community event,” Myers said. “it gets bigger each and every year.”
Perhaps the draw is the large number of eggs spread around the grounds from children from birth to 12 years of age. Hidden among those eggs are very few “prize” eggs that entitle the finder to exchange for an Easter basket filled with goodies. Throw in breakfast with Peter Cottontail, a photo shoot with him as well and visits with Parks mascot “Chippy” and the “Sweet Frog,” and it proved to be quite the social adventure.
Attendees could also make a craft which this year included not only the usual coloring pages, but two different egg coloring stations. Regular colors of eggs were dyed at one location while “chalkboard eggs” could be found at another location where children could design the black eggs using a myriad of colored chalk.
Taking time this year to pop in to experience the event was Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, who had been in Jefferson County to attend and speak at a Chamber of Commerce function on Friday.
“I had asked Heather McIntyre with Jefferson’s Chamber what was going on on Saturday and she suggested this egg hunt,” Tennant said. She was impressed with the large turnout and spent time greeting children and adults alike.
Myers shared that the Easter event is the kickoff to the spring and summer season at Jefferson County Parks. All parks opened after winter closure on April 1 and the new spring/summer course brochure can be seen online at www.jcprc.org. For more information about upcoming programs, camps or other parks and rec offerings, call 304-728-3207.