The Easter Bunny made an early visit to Texoma Saturday as the cities of Sherman and Denison each held events for the holiday weekend.
Even though inclement weather last weekend caused Sherman Parks and Rec to reschedule its “EGGstravaganza” for Saturday, there was no shortage of children vying to take home some of the 10,000 eggs the department prepared for the event. Along with the candy, prize eggs gave children the opportunity to win things like board games, a Bop It, chocolate bunnies, stuffed animals, coupons to local eateries, and binkies for children in the younger age group.
Parks and Rec Aquatic Specialist Dylan Johnson said that this year’s event was moved from Pecan Grove Park to Fairview Park so that there could be more children at the event.
“We changed the venue so we would have more space for the children and we wanted to divide the age groups a little bit more than we have been able to do in the past,” he said. “We have also opened it up to play some games afterwards to encourage the families to stay.”
For the city of Denison, this year marked a return of old traditions as the city held a day of events, culminating in five separate Easter egg hunts at Texoma Health Foundation Park. It has been nearly 30 years since the city sponsored and organized its own Easter egg hunt.
“It has been many, many years for us,” Assistant Parks & Recreation Director Kimberly Bowen said. “I think the last one was held in the late 80s or early 90s.”
Bowen was uncertain how many people would attend the event, but said she had about 1,100 people expressed interest on Facebook. However, once people started arriving, Bowen estimated that more than 1,500 children and their families attended this year’s hunt.
“I was hoping for a good turn out, but this is just wow,” she said.
In addition to the hunts, the Denison opened bounce houses, and other activities for an afternoon of family fun. Between the five hunts, the city hid nearly 7,200 eggs, Bowen said.
Brandy Snodgrass brought her one year old son, Caleb, to the park in Sherman Saturday to take part in his first egg hunt.
As far as holidays go, Snodgrass said that Caleb’s favorite is Christmas because he loves lights. The colorful eggs on the fields at Fairview Park grabbed Caleb’s attention long enough for him to find the prize inside a few.
“Last year she was barely walking so it was not too, too fun,” Samantha Smith said about her two-year-old daughter Jadelynn. “She has older brothers who are on the other side and they showed her a little bit last year. This is the first one she is doing this season. We have other ones to go to.”
A normal Easter weekend for the Smith family includes church and egg hunts.
“We have a sunrise service at our church,” Smith said. “We get up early to watch the sunrise and then they do their classes with devotionals and then we go home and do our own Easter egg hunt.”
Among those in attendance for Denison’s event was Coy and Stefani Devoll of Pottsboro who came with their kids, including four-year-old triplets. Coy Devoll said he was impressed by the event, and the park itself, but said the city should get more eggs next year due to the high turnout.
“I think it is great and a good event for the community,” he said.
Michael Hutchins is a reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or @mhutchinsHD on Twitter. Future Brown is an editor for the Herald Democrat and she can be reached at email@example.com.