Egg-cellent turnout for Easter hunt in SK park Saturday

The “biggest crowd yet” showed up for the 16th annual Easter Egg Hunt in South Kitsap Community Park last weekend, judging by the amount of prizes organizers gave away.

“We have 400 stuffed animal prize certificates and those have all been given out, and the hunt hasn’t even started yet,” said Jessie Turner, a member of the Fathoms o’Fun Association and a longtime organizer of the event, on Saturday. “We know that we have at least 500 kids.”

Turner said that 3,500 plastic eggs stuffed with candy and coupons for A&W were “hidden” throughout the grounds of the park, and organizers had no fear that all would be picked up.

“The biggest problem that we have is to make sure that each kid gets a half-dozen eggs or so,” she said, adding with a laugh that the “hardest group to control over the whole hunt area is the parents.”

The weather mostly cooperated with the group, providing not exactly sun, but not exactly rain, either, and those with umbrellas and raincoats could set them aside as they scurried to gather eggs.

Ellecia Williams of Bremerton brought her 11-month-old son Xanden to the park, and his parents and grandparents watched as the boy picked up two plastic eggs, then tried to crack them open.

Williams said they came to the park because she grew up in Port Orchard, and because she did not know of any similar hunts in Bremerton.

Three-year-old Amber and her sister Makaila, 5, came to the park with their grandmother, Bunny Nielsen of Port Orchard. The girls each got six eggs and Makaila found a bonus gift in her basket — a large bird feather.

When finished gathering eggs, the children could ride the Kitsap Live Steamers’ model train, or meet the Easter Bunny and sit in her lap for a photo.

Saturday’s Easter Bunny was Karin von Marbod, a member of the South Kitsap Kiwanis Club, who said this was her 11th year donning the fluffy white suit.

Von Marbod said she didn’t stuff and scatter all of the eggs, but had lots of help from numerous other volunteers.

Fathoms Ambassador Talia Martin, 17, helped von Marbod greet children and get them ready for their photos.

Martin, a student at South Kitsap Christian School, said a queen and princesses were not elected for the court this year, and both her and Michelle Tapia, 19, are Fathoms ambassadors.

As kids and parents exited the park, many stopped at the large recycle bins and returned their plastic eggs so organizers could use them again next year.

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