However, with Easter falling earlier on the calendar than usual this year in March, it meant that the Easter Egg Hunt might just have a winter's feel to it. Which it most certainly did last Saturday morning.
But the cold and wind wasn't going to deter 4-year-old Tracy Kelly. "We live right near the park and she could see them setting up outside all morning," said Lori Kelly, Tracy's mom. "She kept saying, 'Can we go over now, Mom?' I couldn't believe that she remembered it from last year, but she did. She was really excited about the egg hunt."
The weather conditions caused somewhat of a worry for local parents. "In the morning, I was really concerned, because I thought it might be too cold to have so many kids out there," Lori Kelly said. "I didn't know how it would turn out."
Organizer Donna Daly was also worried that the conditions just might not be conducive for a spring-time event. "The day really started off cold and windy," Daly said. "But then the sun came out and warmed things up a little. But it was still windy and a bit chilly."
So windy that the eight-foot inflatable bunny was having a real tough time staying upright. After a while, the kids paid no attention to the weather.
"It really turned out to be a beautiful day," Lori Kelly said. "Tracy was so excited and she knew what to do. She's a pro now."
Over 300 kids search for eggs
More than 300 youngsters showed up with their baskets, ready to pounce on any plastic eggs that they found. They might have been bundled up in winter clothing, but these kids were ready for spring. Each kid received a chocolate bunny from Bromilow's Home-Made Chocolates in West Paterson. If a child was fortunate enough to find a ticket inside their egg, they then received a larger chocolate bunny.
More than 400 bunnies were purchased and handed out. Mr. and Mrs. Bunny were on hand to pose with the youngsters, as did Lamb Chop.
"Despite the chilly weather, we had an excellent turnout," Daly said. "I think everyone had a nice time. I'm happy that so many kids braved the weather and came out. It really was a great day for community spirit and hometown fun."
As a surprise, News 12 New Jersey covered the event and videotaped some of the children for broadcast later that day. Needless to say, Tracy Kelly had a blast.
"Even though it was a little cold, she was still very happy," Lori Kelly said. "I thought she would save the chocolate bunny for Easter, but she started eating it as soon as we walked in the door. I found her in her room with the head already eaten off it."
Jim Hague can be reached via e-mail at either OGSMAR@aol.com or firstname.lastname@example.org