Lightweight spring jackets were left hanging in the closet as youngsters and adults bundled up in winter coats, hats and gloves to ward off the wintry wind Saturday morning for the 42nd annual Kiwanis Easter Egg Hunt.
The chilly, damp day didn’t seem to hinder the crowd’s enthusiasm as children and their parents gathered in front of Memorial Union at Fort Hays State University.
Brad and Lisa Unrein were there with their twin sons, Braden and Alex, 4.
“We’ve been coming about every year,” Brad said.
“Even when they were little,” Lisa said.
The boys didn’t mind the clouds and were eager to get started.
“I like getting a lot of them so we can see how much candy we get,” Braden said of the egg-gathering.
The children were divided into five age groups for the hunt: 0-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 and 9-10, and followed a sign-bearer to their hunt location.
Children in the 0-to-2 age group and their parents lined the sidewalk waiting for the countdown to begin. The tiny tots with baskets on their arm anxiously eyed the plastic pastel eggs “hidden” in plain sight.
Schuyler Coates and Kara Berry, who work at FHSU, came to the hunt for the first time.
“We heard it’s pretty big,” Coates said.
They had fun watching as their friend’s child participated in the youngest category.
“They’re awfully sweet,” Berry said as the toddlers carefully picked up the eggs, and often with a little help, put them in their basket.
Just like the children carrying them, the Easter baskets came in all sizes and styles. Some baskets were the traditional woven ones in pastel colors of the season; others had plastic tubs with bunnies and eggs on them. There were even a few wooden baskets shaped like bunnies.
In a little more than five minutes, the hunt was finished and children posed for photos with their small stash of eggs filled with candy and other treats.
While many families hurried to their cars to get out of the cold, some lined up for a quick visit and photo with the Easter bunny.