The crisp weather Saturday didn’t keep youngsters from hunting eggs at Easter events conducted across Jackson County.
But instead of spring dresses and sandals, kids turned out in jackets and pants as they carried anything from grocery bags, handmade baskets to buckets searching for eggs full of candy and prizes, and even some real eggs at times.
Kiley Estes was one 8-year-old who was bundled up and ready to gather up some sweets and treats.
“I’m looking forward to getting all the eggs,” the Seymour-Jackson Elementary School student said with her hood pulled up tight. “You get a lot of candy and you get to celebrate.”
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Carrying a basket shaped like a monkey’s face, Estes attended the city’s annual Easter egg hunt at Gaiser Park with her grandmother.
The event, featuring an appearance from the Easter bunny, involved more than 3,000 eggs and prizes and coupons from local businesses. It was organized and sponsored by the Seymour Parks and Recreation and radio stations Classic 1390 WZZB and Kix 92.7 WXKU.
Kelly Trask, who owns Kix 92.7 with her husband, helped organize the event that she said keeps the community connected.
Despite some difficulties with puddles and flooding in the park, Trask said the event worked out well.
“It’s like the derby for Easter,” she said. “It’s like two minutes of complete fun. We just love being a part of that.”
Linda Carnes, Estes’ grandmother, said the community aspect is one reason why they’ve been coming to the event for four to five years.
“It’s a safe environment and it’s just supportive of the community,” she said.
Carnes said it’s a time for kids to have fun but also celebrate the real meaning of Easter.
“It’s a good feeling in knowing what your celebrating with the religious background also,” she said. “And you see friends you maybe haven’t for awhile.”
Jessica Boespflug of Seymour, brought her 1-and-a-half-year-old son, Canaan.
She said Canaan, who was sporting sunglasses and carrying a baseball basket, is at the age where he sort of understands what’s going on.
“At first, I’ll have to show him what to do, but after that he’ll have a blast,” Boespflug said of the egg hunt. “He loves basketball and balls, so he already wants them.”
Amy Wardrob said she brings her 4-year-old daughter, Ariah Hunsucker, to an egg hunt each year.
At Gaiser Park, Ariah had the chance to embrace the Easter bunny before she began her search. She said she was planning on picking up 100 eggs.
“I got speed,” Ariah said with a smile.
Kelly Stephens, of Seymour, brought out her 4-year-old daughter, Sloane, and Sloane’s friend, 5-year-old Libby Dieckmann.
Stephens said the two girls are best friends and they now live apart from each other — Sloane in Seymour and Libby in Ohio.
So Saturday’s egg hunt was their Easter celebration together.
“It’s so sweet, they have just held hands the whole time and hugged spontaneously,” she said, looking at the two girls who were carrying baskets waiting to start the egg hunt. “They’re just so excited to be here.”
Brothers, Brandon and Lance Hubbard, both students at Immanuel Lutheran School, didn’t have much of a strategy before they were given the go-ahead to pick up eggs.
Lance, 8, wanted to make sure he didn’t spill his bucket like last year and Brandon, 12, just wanted to “get as many as possible.”
“However many will fit in this sack,” Brandon said, pulling out a grocery sack.
Their mom said they come to the city’s event every year because it’s safe.
“It’s one of the ones we can count on. It’s not a free-for-all and it’s a good location for kids,” Bethany Hubbard of Seymour said.
The city’s egg hunt was just one of many held in Jackson County on Saturday. Rose Acre Farms held their third Community Egg Hunt and Family Fun Day starting at noon on their property off North Base Road in Seymour.
The event offered an array of activities including a petting zoo, a barbecue and an inflatable bounce house. New this year was a magic show, community agency booths and a model railroad display.
Ryan Hackman, corporate project administrator, said a vast majority of the 3,500 eggs hidden were real with some plastic and filled with candy.
He said it used to be an internal event for employees but it’s now open to the public.
“It’s a way to give back to our community and customers in the local area,” he said.
Another hunt that started mid-morning was put on by Cornerstone Community Church at Seymour High School’s football field. It was called the “Easter Extravaganza.”
The event, which packed the bleachers and filled the school’s parking lot with cars, offered 100,000 candy-filled eggs and a chance for kids to win one of 200 bikes.
Pastor Johnnie Spivey said they had about 2,000 people come out to the event last year and about 30,000 eggs and 100 bikes to give away.
With such a large crowd, they decided to change the location from the church and also increase the number of eggs.
Through donations, they also planned on giving away 100 bikes again this year.
But Spivey said someone stepped up and donated the entirety of the funds to buy 100 more.
“Somebody called me and said they felt like the Lord told them to buy another 100, and they wrote the check,” Spivey said. “It’s twice as much as what we planned, praise God.”
Spivey said the whole purpose of the event is two-fold.
“To share the extravagant love with this community — from God’s love and also to share the gospel of Jesus,” Spivey said.