Oneida Easter Egg Hunt fun for all
ONEIDA — Kids of all ages swarmed Allen Park, looking to fill their bags and baskets with as many eggs as they could at the annual Oneida Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday.
There, 12,000 eggs were spread all through the park, some filled with eggs and a few lucky ones filled with prizes. Among them were seven bicycles donated by the Oneida Fire Department to go home to a handful of lucky kids.
City Recreation Coordinator Justin Acker said he was happy to see everyone in the community come out to celebrate Easter together.
“Annually, this is something I personally look forward to,” he said. “I know the Parks and Recreation Department does too. And the kids and their families just love this event. We’re in a place most people can walk to, and we all meet up to enjoy the holiday.”
Acker said he was especially happy to see local organizations and businesses get more involved with the celebration. While the Oneida Fire Department is known to bring the Easter Bunny himself on their ladder truck, they went the extra mile this year and donated seven bicycles for each age group.
“Cricket Wireless comes every year, and they put out 60 stuffed animals,” Acker continued. “And iFix and T-Mobile come and they bring bags and baskets for people who don’t have one, along with a bunch of other gifts and toys.”
“And what’s more, we had an anonymous donator who bought 30 vouchers for kid’s ice cream cones from Cone Heads,” he added. “Everyone’s coming together, and every year, we try to get bigger.”
Acker said the kids are always excited to gather up as many Easter eggs as they can, with some making a competition between friends, brothers, and sisters.
Among those gathering up eggs were Cindy Wilson and her five-year-old daughter Kairi, Oneida residents who have been attending every year with the family.
“I come out here to see the excitement on my children’s faces,” Cindy said.
Kairi said she really likes the egg hunt and especially the candy she gets to take home. This year, she managed to get her hands on a stuffed animal hidden in the branches of one of the trees at Allen Park.
“We need events like this to bring everyone together for a day of fun,” Cindy said.
Janelle Davis and Nick Kahl were in attendance with their three-year-old daughter Harper Kahl. Davis is from Oneida, and Nick is from Taberg, and it was the first time the three had been to the Easter Egg hunt — and it was exactly what they expected.
“The Oneida community does a lot of stuff for kids, and the Recreation Center always has great opportunities for activities for children of all ages,” Davis said.
“There were a lot of eggs for the kids, and it was good for the kids,” Kahl said. “I personally think that if you don’t have community events like this, society kind of crumbles — people don’t communicate with each other.”
They both agreed they’d be coming back next year.
When asked what he’d like to see in the future, Acker said he wished they could do something like an Easter dance party in the tennis courts.
“A dance party with the Easter bunny and a DJ with all the kids, just to get out dance, and have fun,” he said. “And burn off that sugar energy.”
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