NORTH ROYALTON – Easter egg-citement begins Palm Sunday when the Easter Bunny himself hops on to the scene cheering on kids as they wait their turn to partake in a longstanding tradition.
The annual Kiwanis Easter Egg Hunt is planned from 2-3 p.m. March 25 at the Memorial Park Playground at 14600 State Road.
More than 3,000 plastic eggs full of candy, loving packed by the seniors at Royalton Woods Retirement Community, will be hidden among the playground equipment by the North Royalton High School Key Club, the teen version of Kiwanis.
Typically upwards of 300 children attend every year. Waves of 20-30 kids are admitted every few minutes to keep the chaos controlled.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an Easter egg hunt without Mr. Easter Bunny who will be hopping around visiting with youngsters and posing for photos.
Barry Ezell, a Kiwanis member who coordinates the hunt, said it’s a tradition the Kiwanis has reveled in for 30-plus years.
“Our priority has always been serving children, so any of the fundraising efforts we have, the reverse raffle, are with that in mind. This is not a fundraiser but it is a ‘fun raiser,’ something fun to do that also creates a little awareness for our organization. We always get a great turnout even in poor weather, but we’re hoping for 72 and sunny on Palm Sunday,” Ezell smiled.
The egg hunt has evolved into a family tradition for Ward 3 Councilman Dan Langshaw, who is also a Kiwanian.
“I have enjoyed the years my son Henry could go and hunt for all the eggs his heart desired. Now that he is older, my family and I look forward to all of us going together with my newborn son when he is born later this year and making it an even bigger family event and tradition that will continue on thanks to Kiwanis for making this such a successful event,” he said.
Mayor Bob Stefanik has once again offered up city hall as an alternative hunt site should the weather take a turn.
“The Kiwanis always put on a nice event with the Easter egg hunt. Last year we offered our city hall in case the weather was bad, and we are doing that again,” he said. “This is the official kick off of spring, and one of the many outreach projects the Kiwanis provides to the community throughout the year.”