“It’s windy, but it’s all right. We’ve got nice weather today,” said event organizer J.C. Hill, who smiled as brightly as any of the children traipsing around the park, itching to grab up colorful eggs.
The crowd for the 13th Annual Community Egg Hunt was one of serene and happy anticipation. Adults stood in line with their children for a chance to get a picture taken with the Easter Bunny.
A local radio station had a live broadcast with music piped in for everyone to enjoy through loud speakers.
Some people sat out on the grass to wait and some strolled the walking trail and received stickers, information, and candy from Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition Project Director Stacy Brooks.
First Baptist Church gave out treat bags for kids and cookies and bottled water for everyone.
FBC church member Annie Richardson said, “We’re just here to love people and invite them to come to church.”
After a brief message from the mayor, and a prayer from local clergy, the children were divided into different egg hunting areas based on special needs or age group. Just after 12 p.m., the children were advised they could begin hunting and they all took off.
While the majority excitedly rushed forward and ran to every egg they saw, some hung back shyly, such as one little girl with long red hair. She picked up one egg. The woman who accompanied her pointed out a blue one just a few feet away.
The little girl looked up at the woman. “I don’t want to run,” she said.
The woman said, “You don’t have to run. You can walk over and pick it up.”
The little girl looked uncertain, as if it were too good to be true that the crowd had left and there was still an egg or two left for her. She looked back up the woman.
“Walk with me,” she requested.
With the woman hovering just a few feet away, she picked up the egg and gained enough confidence to search out more. It may have been a small thing to some, but the light in the girl’s eyes spoke volumes that it meant everything to her.
Based on the large crowd and the abundance of smiles, it appears the community event accomplished was the organizers had always meant for it to do — bring people together to enjoy the day.