An egg-cellent afternoon:  Kids descend on Reamstown Park for seasonal treasures

By on March 30, 2016

Under sunny skies, a full army of little ones and their accompanying adults invaded Reamstown Park in search of treasure.

And it’s a scene that’s been repeated for generations courtesy of the East Cocalico Lions Club which held its 79th Annual Egg Hunt on March 26.

It’s become one of the biggest and most enjoyed in Lancaster County.

“This is community supported and run by the Lions Club,” said Lion Phil Deibler. “I think this is our 79th year, so we have a long history.”

Photos by Michele Walter Fry The egg hunt was more competitive this year. "If you don't get that, I,we, will."

Photos by Michele Walter Fry
The egg hunt was more competitive this year. “If you don’t get that, I,we, will.”

What sets apart this egg hunt from others is kids hunt for real eggs, not plastic.

“We’re trying to keep that tradition as long as we can,” Deibler said. “The kids like them. The people at home, it’s like a family event for them. If they have children, they’ll color them with their children. The plastic eggs are more difficult and come open.

Prizes enhance the childrens' competitive natures.

Ray Sweigart and John Danielson hand out toys to the four- and five-year-old age group participants.

The kids get to eat the eggs when they get home, if they make it that far. Little girls tend to hold up their eggs and inspect their beauty. Little boys like to throw and destroy with delight. All seem to enjoy the chaos and competition, but since there are so many eggs, all kids get some since there are roped off areas for different age groups.

“We’ve been doing this so long, it’s works like a charm,” said Lion

Emily Schlinkman with son, Jude, from Lancaster. He was a "thrower" of hard boiled eggs

Emily Schlinkman with son, Jude, from Lancaster. He was a “thrower” of hard boiled eggs

Charles Cutts, who was dressed in a giant bunny costume.

The Lions don’t make much money from the event and may just “break even.”

“It’s hard to say how much we make because we have to take out money for the toys,” Cutts said. “You can see how many kids we have here.”

Jaylynn Long from Ephrata displays her colorful treasures. This is her second egg hunt at Reamstown.

Jaylynn Long from Ephrata displays her colorful treasures. This is her second egg hunt at Reamstown.

The event held about 500 kids this year but has held up to 1,200 in past years.

“We have fun and we like to give back to the community,” Cutts said. “They’re so helpful to us and without them, we couldn’t survive. We have ham and oyster suppers, a golf tournament, but it all comes from the community.”

“I’ve been the Easter Bunny for 18 years now. My wife (Patty) made the costume. It’s warm.”

A little advice and assistance from a grown-up is always welcome.

A little advice and assistance from a grown-up is always welcome.

Cutts works for Ephrata Hospital and also dresses up there in costume for Easter and Christmas events including visiting kids in the pediatric department.

Will and Julie Warner brought their daughter, Noelle, to her first egg hunt.

“We’ve lived here only a year,” said Julie. “We’re from near Philadelphia.”

Will moved here to be program director at Woodcrest Retreat.

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