By MAGGIE MURRAY
Moapa Valley Progress
More than 150 kids converged on the Moapa Park last Wednesday morning, eagerly awaiting the magic words: “Ready…Set…Go!”
The green lawn of the park glittered and twinkled with a rainbow of colors as thousands of plastic eggs waited patiently for their soon-to-be new owners to come and claim them at the annual Moapa Parks and Rec Spring Egg Hunt. Every year during spring break, Moapa Parks and Rec organizes and puts on the hunt for local youth from age 0 to 11. It has become a beloved annual tradition for many families.
This year the weather was perfect as kids played in the playground before the event and wore bunny masks that Parks and Rec handed out to everyone who wanted one. The staff also provided buckets for kids that may have forgotten theirs or just wanted a new one.
Moapa Parks and Rec Specialist Gail Lindsey is the organizer and driving force behind the hunt every year. To make it go off without a hitch, she said that she starts planning months in advance.
“We start applying for grants to cover this event in January,” Lindsey said. “The grants provide money for the eggs and for the prizes. We got 1500 eggs this year to spread across five age groups, with 12 prizes in each age group that we go shopping for a few weeks before the event.”
Lindsey and her employees start early on the day of the event, as well, to make sure everything is perfect and set before kids arrive. “We started hiding at 8:30 this morning and were all done and set up by the time kids started getting here.”
Plenty of kids and parents showed up to participate in the event, and everyone was enjoying the day.
Parent Ashley Bunker brought her kids to enjoy the event. “I came because it’s Easter and my girls love the Moapa egg hunt every year,” she said. “It’s really done well and my girls love seeing their friends and playing on the toys before and after the hunt, in addition to getting to collect all the eggs they can find.”
Parent Kessa Stratton agreed, saying, “We love to come to Moapa Parks and Rec activities. We love that they plan activities for the community. And there is nothing cuter or more fun to watch than an egg hunt.”
Most kids were able to fill their buckets to overflowing. Tristan Bunch, 6, said he had a great time. “I liked that we got to find eggs and some of the eggs have candy and toys, and some have prizes. I won a blue bunny and I love it because I like bunnies and I like blue.”
The older kids had more of a challenge. Their eggs were all hidden in the more rugged wash behind the park. Still, most were able to find eggs, even though the end of the hunt saw Parks and Rec staff members out searching the wash for prize eggs that were still missing.
Lots of older kids said that he added challenge made the event even better. Fallon Yardley, 10, said, “I liked looking for the eggs in the wash because you actually had to hunt and that was fun.”
Ellie Webber, 10, agreed, saying, “It was a lot of fun. Finding the eggs in the wash was my favorite part. I really liked that I found so many. The ones with candy are my favorite.”
Parks and Rec staff were positive about the event. Program Assistant Tricia Wickersham said, “We love seeing the enthusiasm and joy so it’s something we definitely want to keep doing. It’s fun to have the community come together, which helps make it a great activity.”
Lindsey concluded, “Everything was awesome today. It was a beautiful day and the kids were so excited. We had a great turnout, which we loved, and we really appreciate the support of the community and all the Parks and Rec staff that came out to help us.”