A dozen volunteers spent the morning Saturday scattering more than 6,000 plastic eggs around the Greenup County Farm Bureau’s 10-acre field Saturday morning.
It took a pack of children less than five minutes to scour the field clean later that day.
Almost anyone you asked would have told you the Farm Bureau’s first-ever Easter egg hunt was an overwhelming success.
“We weren’t expecting this kind of crowd,” bureau president Terry Osborne said. “People came early and anxious to hunt eggs.”
Several hundred children and their parents showed up well ahead of the 1:30 p.m. start time at the field adjacent to U.S. 23 at its junction with Ky. 2. They whiled away the minutes with tractor rides, milking Greenup Gertie, the bureau’s artificial cow, and posing for pictures with a six-foot, inflatable Easter bunny.
Anisa Childers took the time to impart a few words of egg-hunting advice to her 2-year-old daughter Sydney. “Don’t fight for eggs. There are plenty here. Let some of the other kids get some,” she said.
Childers said she has hidden eggs for Sydney to find at home. This was Sydney’s first time in the big leagues, however.
Children lined up with plastic buckets, grocery bags, traditional woven rush baskets, camouflage bags, cartoon character baskets and a few bright yellow farm bureau bags.
Seven-year-old Constance Hensley brought a cloth carryall she had decorated at school. Her goal was to fill it with at least 100 eggs.
The children fidgeted behind the starting barrier until bureau vice-president Kenny Imel shouted out instructions through a bullhorn and turned them loose.
That was the signal for a five-minute rampage through the grassy field, followed by a few quieter minutes during which children counted their eggs and opened them to retrieve the candy treats inside.
“We were overwhelmed. There were a lot more than I’d ever expected,” Imel said.
Although a few hunters jumped the gun, the event was fairly orderly and kids were grouped by age. “It was a learning experience for us,” he said.
Most of the families weren’t affiliated with the bureau, and that was fine, Imel said. Part of the bureau’s mission is to bring agriculture to the community. Non-farm children got a chance to ride on a wagon behind a tractor and to find out what it is like to milk a cow. “This is all about community involvement and kids having fun,” he said.
The bureau hasn’t made any specific plans, but based on the turnout, the prospects are good for a repeat next year, Osborne said.
MIKE JAMES can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2652.