FARMINGTON — Some 40,000 colorful eggs decorated the lawn and playground equipment around Sycamore Park Community Center Friday as a line of kids formed, divided by age groups.
And they prepared to scour that lawn in the sixth annual Easter EGGStravaganza.
Natalie Spruell, the community center's volunteer coordinator, said about 5,000 children participated in the hunt, which is the highlight of the Easter-themed activities at the center during the EGGStravaganza.
This year was the center's largest hunt, with an additional 8,000 plastic eggs.
"We started filling eggs in January," Spruell said. "This year we were done the third week of March."
After the eggs were filled, the volunteers and staff began preparing for other aspects of the event, such as the games and pictures with the Easter bunny.
But the end of the celebration doesn't mark the end of the work.
The staff and volunteers collected the egg shells Friday to reuse next year and also takes donations of plastic eggs from the community. For the next two months, Spruell said they will organize these eggs for next year's hunt.
Carmelita Thompson participated with her 2-year-old daughter, Hadassah.
After the hunt, Thompson opened each egg to sort through the candy before Hadassah ate it. She picked out the hard candy or chewy candy such as gum for safety reasons. "She could choke on them," Thompson explained as her daughter looked at the bounty of eggs.
The egg hunt was Hadassah's first and Thompson said they will probably attend next year as well.
Donna Yates read about the hunt while attending the health fair a few weeks ago. She decided to take her grandchildren there along with their other grandma, Carolyn Gaylor.
The oldest of their three grandchildren, Gabby Ruelas, 11, got the most eggs of the sisters.
"I was going to get the bucket and just drag it along," she said.
However, she changed her plans mid-hunt and began picking up individual eggs.
While the egg hunt was the highlight of the event, Gabby's favorite part was one of the games she played where she tossed a rope with balls attached to either end over bars.
In addition to community center staff and volunteers, the city of Farmington, National Guard and other organizations came together to help put on the area's largest Easter egg hunt.
"It takes all hands," Spruell said.