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Colored eggs and bright children’s faces light up Babe Curtis Park

The annual Easter egg hunt at Babe Curtis Park in Butler is a tradition dating back decades that not even gloomy weather and the threat of rain could dampen this past weekend. With more than 50 children and parents participating in the hunt, there was plenty of fun and excitement all over the park grounds.

Organized by the Butler Ruritan each year, the event has become an increasingly popular local staple of the Easter holiday and is one of the club’s most anticipated community events.

Gathering at the Veterans Memorial in front of the Butler Museum at 2:00 Sunday, participants waited eagerly for local businessman and Ruritan member Larry Shoun to announce the rules of the game and to give the official call to

Children ages five and under were given a few minutes head start to run out onto the park grounds and gather up the brightly colored plastic eggs. Once the hunt was underway the remaining children
joined in and the competition was on in earnest.

With an amazing 680 in all, volunteers and club members began the long process of hiding the eggs at around noon. Some were obviously placed in the short grass just in front of the museum, but many more were tucked away in the tall sage grass of the adjacent field or in and around the various buildings at the park.

Many of the smaller children were accompanied by a parent, while some of the older participants set out on their own or worked in groups, racing from one part of the park to another in their

Like any good treasure hunt, every egg found was worth a prize. Participants gathered their eggs in baskets and at the end of the day brought them up to the museum steps to cash in. Some had heaping piles while others had more moderate claims, but everyone had at least a few to their credit. Regular multicolored eggs were worth a quarter while a select number of silver and golden eggs were each worth a gold or silver dollar coin. As the children lined up at the checkout station once they finished, the eggs they collected were put into a large bin and they were given their prizes. In all $200 in coins was given out, sponsored through the Ruritan.

Even the Easter Bunny made a special appearance, kicking off the start of the event and helping the children to find eggs, although admittedly some of the smaller hunters seemed shy of the six-foot-tall bunny. Happily, after more than an hour of running, playing and hunting for eggs, there was no end to the bright-eyed smiles on the children’s faces regardless of their age.

A long running tradition, some of the first to take part in the hunt many years ago now have grandchildren of their own on the field gathering the eggs just like they did when they were little. Although interest in the hunt has waxed and waned over time, Shoun was proud to explain that there has been a renewed interest over the past few years, with more and more children coming out to join in the fun, punctuated by the strong numbers present again this year.

For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this weeks Tomahawk.