BRAWLEY — Excitement was in the air and with a blow of the firetruck horn, the hunt was on. In five short minutes, it was all over. As children gathered up the last bits of candy or random eggs they could find, they regrouped with their families to sort through their bounty.
This was the scene at Brawley’s annual Pat Williams Park Easter Egg Hunt Saturday morning as hundreds of children eagerly searched for candy and eggs to fill their baskets.
Sponsored by Brawley Parks and Recreation, the annual egg hunt has been a Brawley Easter tradition for over 40 years. As the largest park in Brawley, Pat Williams Park is an ideal location for such a huge event. Roughly over 700 children participated in this year’s hunt according to Pat Dorsey, director of Brawley’s Parks and Rec.
“There’s nothing like watching these little kids hunting their eggs and running around,” said Dorsey. “It’s over within a few minutes but it’s all worth it.”
Dorsey stated that all of the goodies were paid for thanks to the support and the generosity of the City of Brawley. The 42 dozen decorated hard-boiled eggs were painted by members of the Brawley Senior Center.
In preparation for the hunt, the area is filled with candies, plastic eggs, and painted eggs for the children to find. Parents are allowed to help the youngest group if need be, but otherwise were asked to stay back and let their children experience the event for themselves.
The hunt is limited to ages eight and under, and the park is sectioned off into three age groups: one for the smallest children ages two to four, a middle one for ages five to six, and the biggest in the back for the seven to eight group.
Each section also had three special eggs containing the City of Brawley seal and business card inside. The lucky finders then took the special egg to the kiosk and turned it in for a gift basket filled with all sorts of goodies for the winner. Even the Easter Bunny made an appearance and took pictures with families and children.
For many families, it is a tradition that is followed eagerly every year. For others, it is the one Easter hunt they will be able to have this year, while some say it is something important to do with the children.
“We probably won’t be able to do it tomorrow, so we brought them out here,” said Carmen Espino, who brought her daughter out to the park for the day. “It think it’s awesome that they put this one for the community.”
Arturo Rios brought all his children as well as other family members to the event. “My children wanted to come and we want to make it an annual thing for the family, before they are grown up,” said Rios.