MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Easter is just one week away but children in town got to celebrate the holiday early with the annual Spring Egg Hunt and visit from the Easter bunny.
The children's goal was to collect the 13,000 plastic Easter eggs with candy inside that were scattered on the lawn at Memorial Park. Gifts and prizes from neighborhood sponsors were given out. The event also featured a petting zoo, live music, and had flower pot painting arts and crafts activity.
"We had good weather despite the muddy conditions," said Maplewood Director of Community Services Melissa Mancuso.
Mancuso said this year's event kicked off the start of spring and had one of the best turnouts compared to the other years.
The McLeavey-Fisher family enjoys attending events in the Maplewood community. The family recently moved to Maplewood from Queens, N.Y. and said the egg hunt was an opportunity to see their neighbors and enjoy a fun event.
Their 2-year-old daughter Pearl collected at least 20 eggs without assistance from her parents, said her dad E.J. McLeavey.
Six-year-old Eloise Hallquist said she too came to the egg hunt, which drew about 100 people, to see her neighbors.
"My mom planned to go to the event and it sounded like fun," she said.
And 8-year-old Bryan Weeks said getting the candy at the end is his favorite part about the hunt.
Hershey kisses, Weeks said, are his favorite candy.