By Ray Balogh
MILFORD — Precious little whirlwinds swept through North Webster and Milford during the towns’ annual Easter egg hunts Saturday, April 3. A combined total of about 150 children descended on ball fields and playgrounds, picking up pastel treasures hidden in plain sight.
North Webster Lions Club again sponsored the town’s egg hunt on the four baseball diamonds adjacent to the Mermaid fairgrounds.
“This started in the 1960s and I have done it for roughly 25 years,” said Dan Thystrup, a member of the Lions club.
The young scavengers were divided into four age groups: toddlers under 4, preschool and kindergarten, grades one through three, and grades four and five. At the starting whistle at 9 a.m. they raced through the dugout gates and completed their mission within five minutes, afterward trading the plastic eggs for money.
The numbers tell the story:
• The temperature was a chilly 38 degrees with southerly winds of 17 mph, according to the North Webster office of the National Weather Service.
• 40 dozen hard-boiled and 10 dozen plastic eggs were scattered in the outfields of the ball diamonds by 10 Lions members who started at 7 a.m. A dozen or so extra eggs were held in reserve in the bed of a member’s pickup truck “in case someone doesn’t get any eggs,” said Lions member Monty Lackey.
• Two $10 bills were hidden in plastic eggs for each of the three older age groups. The grand prizes for the toddlers were a $10 bill and a stuffed Easter bunny.
• “At least 50 kids” participated in the event, according to Lackey.
MIlford Kiwanis placed “900 to 1,000” plastic eggs, each filled with candy or cash, around the Milford School athletic field and playground for the 11 a.m. hunt.
A fire engine siren heralded the arrival of Easter bunny at approximately 10:45 a.m. She was escorted courtesy of the Milford Fire Department and chatted and posed for photos with the children.
In a departure from tradition prompted by pandemic regulations, children took all the eggs home instead of trading them in for money. “That way we don’t have to collect them and sanitize them,” said Kiwanis member Paula Stokes, who publishes the club’s weekly newsletter and “helps out wherever.”
Children were each given a number upon arrival and were released in little flocks of 15 to scoop up their limit of 10 eggs apiece. The final count: 90 children, divided into age groups of 5 and under and 6 through 10.
Sue Wert, the club’s treasurer, dispatched the eager little hunters by megaphone. “I have been part of Kiwanis since 1983 and we have done this every year for at least that long,” she said.
The serial processions were frantic but orderly. “They did really well,” said Stokes. “That’s one thing to love about a small town. Everyone is courteous and polite.”
Photos from North Webster below
Photos from Milford below