Hunters, Young and Old, Honor ‘Eggseptional’ Tradition
April 5, 2018 by Rose Nemunaitis

Easter egg hunts across Geauga County brightened lives of all ages and welcomed a springtime rite of passage across Geauga County.

Easter egg hunts across Geauga County brightened lives of all ages and welcomed a springtime rite of passage across Geauga County.

While most hunts are designed for kids, a fourth annual Easter egg hunt in Middlefield attracted those over 21 years old after the sun went down March 24 at Mineral Lake Park.

“This has become a tradition for Middlefield Recreation Department,” said Billie Warren, Middlefield recreation director. “We have participants who come back each year and bring more friends with them. I believe it is special because adults want to have fun, too, and it is a great way to relive a childhood memory and maybe win a great prize.”

From mildly muddy fields, to schoolyards, communities continued egg hunt traditions on March 31 as families arrived toting empty baskets and leaving with candy and prizes thanks to many volunteers and sponsors.

“It’s great to see all of the kids’ happy and smiling faces after they’ve been cooped up and now it’s springtime, when everyone gets back outside,” said Danielle LaMadeleine, of Hambden Township Fire Department, referring to the 25thannual Hambden Township Easter Egg Hunt at Hambden Township Park.

Nearby, expecting mom Allison Mucciarone readied her sons, Nash, 3, and Grayden, 5, for their inaugural hunts by age groups as she bent down and whispered words of encouragement.

“This is wonderful,” Mucciarone said, as she watched her smiling boys bring back candy and treasures, then purchase tickets for gift basket drawings helping to fund next year’s event.

“It’s a nice thing for our fire department to get involved with our community and to see all these young children,” organizer Maria Cocco said.

Anticipation and air horns continued to mark the start of various county egg hunts, complete with a special familiar and furry long-eared guest at the annual Easter Egg Hunt at Munson Township Park.

“Yes, the Easter Bunny and I go way back and he loves coming to Munson’s Easter Egg Hunt,” Munson Township Trustee Andrew Bushman said, of their tradition, started in 2011. “Every year, the Easter Bunny arrives to the Easter egg hunt in a big red fire truck. He loves to sound the horns and sirens.”

Chardon Square Association, Chardon Tomorrow and Chardon Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored Chardon’s Easter Egg Hunt on the Square, filled from edge to edge with families.

“We have some families that have been coming with children, then their grandchildren,” said Mary Glauser, Chardon Tomorrow executive director. “People schedule spring break vacations and family get-togethers around it.”

Stacia Clawson, Chardon Chamber of Commerce executive director, added organizers each year work to make it bigger and better.

“It’s important to carry on traditions like the Easter egg hunt to give the residents something to look forward to as the holiday approaches,” Clawson said. “I talked to several foster parents and guardians who said it was the only kind of Easter event that the children they brought attend, so we try really hard to make it special for them and for all the children.”

In Burton, their tradition continued with the longest running Easter egg hunt in the county.

This year’s event officially switched locations to the Berkshire Junior and Senior High School parking lot and had special guests Geauga County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jim Fields and his mini-horse, Jr. Deputy Rick O’Shay, greeting families and posing for photos before and after Burton’s Easter egg hunt.

“This year’s hunt was the coldest one yet,” Warren said, of the night-time $15 per person adult hunt, where egg hunters needed to bring a photo ID and helpful flashlights and/or headlamps. “We did have heaters under the pavilion for people to try to get a little warm before and after the hunt.”

The eggs contain candy, prize tickets or some have cash inside.

Warren said this year, they gave away 124 prizes, including a NASCAR jacket, beer-making kit, convection oven, Keurig beverage maker, water cooler, television, gift cards, and lots and lots of candy.

“I put $100 dollar bills and 20 $5 dollar bills in eggs,” Warren said. “My assistant, Vikki Naples, and I work year-round on the egg hunt to try to make the next one better than the last.”