By Max Gun
Holt Journal staff writer
The 33rd annual Holt Easter egg hunt will be entertaining children ages 1-11 on the Saturday before Easter. The Kiwanis Club of Holt sponsored event will take place at Valhalla Park in Holt at 1 p.m. March 30.
John Hayhoe, a Kiwanis Club member and project chair, said the hunt has changed drastically in the 25 years he’s been involved.
“Back when I started, we used to boil real eggs and dye them different colors, and then reward the kids with a dime or quarter per egg,” he said. “Then one year, we had a really warm Easter weekend and all of the eggs melted, raising concerns that the kids would be exposed to salmonella. So now we buy different colored plastic eggs and stuff them with a piece or two of candy to serve as a prize.”
Hayhoe said about 600 kids participate and are divided into five groups — ages 1-2, 3-4, 5-6. 7-8, 9-11 — and that 4,600 plastic eggs are used.
Art Nott, a Kiwanis Club member who has been a part of the event for 27 years, said it’s a rewarding experience to watch the same kids come back and participate in the egg hunt year after year. He also said the older the age group, the harder he and the other members make it to find the eggs.
“It’s a lot of fun to watch the kids search for the eggs, and come back until they are too old to participate,” he said. “They all have a blast and it’s a memorable experience to their Easter weekend.”
Tom Brower, Kiwanis Club treasurer for 25 years, has had his own children participate in the event, and said that it is one of Holt’s greatest traditions.
“It’s been a tradition for the Kiwanis of Holt to sponsor this event for over three decades, and we put on the event no matter what the weather is,” he said. “We’ve done the event with a foot of snow on the ground, and it hasn’t stopped anybody.
“This is one of the events that really brings the community of Holt together. We see people that we don’t normally see on a daily basis that come out and attend the event with their children or grandchildren,” Brower said.
Hayhoe said the hunt is beneficial for the Holt community.
“It’s really a win-win situation for everyone involved,” Hayhoe said. “Delhi Township provides the park area, and Hayhoe Asphalt donates the candy, so it doesn’t cost anybody any money.”
Nott said this event draws wonderful reviews from parents and grandparents of kids who participate.
“They love to watch their child have a blast and remember an experience that they will always cherish as part of Easter,” Nott said. “It’s an enjoyable event for us Kiwanis to sponsor and we get a lot of thank-yous throughout the Holt community.”