HOLTVILLE — Saturday morning, Easter egg hunters scoured every inch of the grassy ground at Holt Park searching for colored plastic eggs and prized golden eggs. Holtville’s annual “Easter Egg Hunt in the Park” drew a crowd of children eager to fill their baskets with colorful plastic eggs.
“We had kids of all ages from four and under and all the way through 10-year-olds,” said Becky Miller, manager of the Holtville Chamber of Commerce. “We had over 4,000 eggs out here today. We had our Easter bunny out here taking pictures with the kids. And the kids who were late, the Easter bunny was able to give them some eggs too.”
The south area of Holt Park was divided into four age group sections. Children standing behind a cordon patiently waited for the fire truck’s siren that signaled them to run towards the tall grasses in search of eggs.
Mary Dollente, interim manager of the Holtville Chamber of Commerce, said one child from each age division found a golden egg. They were Effy Mae Acosta, 3, Jayden Bastidas, 6, Aadon Favila, 8, and Julian Beltran, 9.
Imperial resident Mirtha Barra came to the event with her two children Joshua, 10, and Izabella, 4. Barra had been invited by her friend Mercedes Valenzuela, who also brought her two children Zydah, 4, and George, 3, to Holt Park that morning. Barra and Valenzuela have been friends since they were 10.
Barra had a favorable impression of Saturday’s activities, she said. “We like Holtville, it is small, but is very family oriented. It’s really nice, a lot of family, a lot of kids.”
Many children unwittingly became friendly rivals. Barra praised her son, Joshua, 10, who shared his newfound Easter plastic eggs with his sister Izabella.
But even the older Joshua found it difficult collecting the eggs. “It is very challenging since a lot of kids, like, when you find an Easter egg and you’re about to get it, another kid goes and gets it. Well, I just go on and find another Easter egg,” he said, laughing.
Holtville Fire Chief Alex Silva kept a watchful eye on the event. “We assisted the Holtville Chamber of commerce,” Silva said. “We’re helping them maintain the perimeter for the kids. That way, the four different groups, four & under, 5-6, 7-8, and 9-10, went to their appropriate areas at the right time.”
Fire Chief Silva said the perimeter for children four and under was a little bit hectic because there were more parents than children searching for eggs. However, the hunt in the other three areas went perfectly.
Silva said they had help from the Holtville Fire Explorers, ages 14-18, to help with crowd control as the teens provided kids with a positive model to follow. Six Holtville High School students were also present to help with the event.