NUTLEY, NJ - Nutley children had their flashlights in hand and were more than ready for the sun to go down on Wednesday, April 17. Over 250 children excitedly lined up behind a rope tied to a tree and the fence ready to collect colorful eggs filled with toys and candy. One golden egg hid among the pastel plastic eggs and was the key to the giant Easter basket filled with marshmallow Peeps, chocolate bunnies, jelly beans and other seasonal candy.
The 13th annual Great Flashlight Egg Hunt was hosted by Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci and the Department of Parks and Recreation. The department staff filled 4,000 plastic eggs and scattered them throughout an area of the park over the hill near the playground equipment.
Commissioner Tucci announced the rules and led the count down.
The children raced to find the golden egg collecting as many pastel eggs as they can along the way using their flashlights to search in the dark. Parents chased after their kids keeping a close eye at all times.
Four lucky children, Anthony Ricio, Gerald Santangelo, Braedon Wallace and Donato Longobardi, all age 12, found the egg together and are sharing the giant basket of candy. They said they found the egg by the haystack, pointing to the right up the hill from the playground. Tucci awarded them the prize and congratulated the kids on their teamwork.
Tucci said in a separate interview, “Once again the flashlight Easter egg hunt was a rousing success. … The sense of community was once again reinforced with the good feeling and fun that we all shared. No child went home without an Easter egg and a smile on their face. My Parks Department should be commended for the outstanding effort they once again put forth.”
84th annual Easter Egg Hunt
Unfortunately Nutley’s 84th annual Easter Egg Hunt hosted by the Nutley FMBA Local 44 and the last two remaining members of the Civic Celebrations Committee Cheryl DiAntonio and Lucy Collini, scheduled for Saturday, April 20 was rained out. There was no rain date set, due to the fact the annual hunt is always the day before Easter.
The hunt is usually held in Memorial Park 1, also known as, the “Mud Hole” early in the morning the Saturday before Easter. The Nutley Fire Department said for safety of the children the event had to be canceled.
DiAntonio assures there will be an Easter Egg Hunt next year…weather permitting. “It turned out cancellation was the right thing because it was raining heavily at that time and the field was one giant mud puddle,” she said
This is the first time in over 10 years the long standing event had to be canceled. DiAntonio said they will try to come up with an alternative location for next year.