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Kids get early start on Easter egg harvest

  • Nasreen Rallhan of Rohnert Park searches for eggs in her Easter best at Howarth Park in Santa Rosa, Saturday March 30, 2013 sponsored by the City of Santa Rosa. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

A lawn the size of a football field lay divided in five sections Saturday, allowing children to gather by age groups and dash out together in search of hundreds of plastic eggs filled with candy and trinkets.

The free event at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds was one of at least a half-dozen mass hunts held around the county the day before Easter.

Mike Tonks, pastor of Santa Rosa's Tree of Life Fellowship, the sponsor of the fairgrounds' event, said he expected about 5,000 parents and children to help collect a total of 25,000 eggs.

Spring Easter Egg Hunt At Howarth Park

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New hunts began every half hour or so. In between, volunteers took colored eggs from plastic garbage bags and scattered them around a lawn that in summer is home to the fair's carnival rides and midway. Not far from the field of eggs, children played carnival games and climbed on four inflatable jump houses and slides.

"We want to be a celebrating people," Tonks said. "And Easter, there's no better time to celebrate."

Saturday's events included the 66th annual egg hunt at Doyle Park, a free event produced by the local Exchange Club.

About 150 children there filled baskets with candy that had been placed on lawn beneath two stately oak trees.

Joe Perez of Santa Rosa brought his two sons, Tre, 7, and Quentin, 6. He said he has come to the event each year for more than a decade.

For the children, he said, "It's the thrill of the hunt."

As a child, Sandy Yule of Santa Rosa took part in one of the club's egg hunts. Now she was back with her daughter, Malia Turner, age 5.


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