MAPLEWOOD, NJ - On Saturday April 8, Maplewood’s 33rd Annual Spring Egg Hunt took place at Memorial Park.

With a slight breeze in the air and a bright, late morning sun, volunteers spread out hundreds of colored eggs on the park’s fresh green grass. The eager crowds ranging from at least 200 parents, children, and families surrounded the area designated for the Egg Hunt.

As the clock struck noon, Maplewood Mayor Victor De Luca gave the ready and release signals. Parents let their little ones launch towards the eggs and they picked up dozens upon dozens to put in their Easter-themed baskets. Within an astounding two minutes, all of the eggs packed with treats and goodies had been picked up and enjoyed by the children.

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Maplewood resident and third-time attendee, Amy Henry and her two children, four-year-old Austin and two-year-old Dylan, were enjoying their prizes shortly after the hunt.

“This is great and I absolutely love it,” Henry said. She commented that it was fun to see all of the kids search for the eggs and that everyone was very friendly. In previous years, her son Austin had been shy about looking for eggs and he wasn’t able to obtain much. There were groups of older children, Henry said, who were nice enough to share their eggs with those who did not get as much. But this year he and his little brother managed to secure two basketfuls, already relishing their fruity Starbursts.

Annelisa Blake-Wasden and her nine-year-old daughter Elisha weren’t so lucky. They arrived only a few short minutes after the egg hunt had been completed. They hadn’t attended the year before, but they had come to the Maplewood egg hunts in 2014 and 2015.

“They were gone really quickly,” Blake-Wasden said in humor, but she and her daughter were still enthusiastic and happy to come out and have fun with the other Maplewood residents and visitors.

In addition to the egg hunt, the event also featured a small basketball hoop and soccer balls for recreation. Vintage rock and roll, 70s disco and modern pop music played on speakers set up by the DJ. After the hunt, children dipped brushes into paint and decorated flower pots. C

ookies, juice, and water were offered to attendees. Kids who knew and didn’t know each other played tag and ran around on the lawn with one another as if they’d known each other forever.

“Everything was great,” Mayor De Luca said after the egg hunt. “There’s a large turnout, beautiful weather, and the eggs were gone in two minutes, which is remarkable. This is a great event in Maplewood.”