The West Park hunt for eggs
April 30, 2022
A windy overcast day would not deter these children and their need to find eggs. The egg hunt took place at West Park on April 16, the Saturday before Easter. Tehachapi Valley Recreation & Parks District sectioned off four separate pens where the Easter Bunny had scattered eggs the night before. These would soon become arenas for battle. TVRPD had also acquired special prizes for those lucky children who found a rare golden egg.
The first arena was designated for 1 to 2-year-olds. When event organizers counted down and let the kids loose, the children would wobble around, not quite masters of walking yet. They'd pass 12 to 13 eggs before one would catch their eye. Excited and confused by what they had just found, the child would bend down to grab the egg, only to fall over or otherwise lose their balance. I was lulled into a false sense of security. This was going to be a fun, light hearted event. I did not know the carnage that awaited at the end.
Next was the 3 to 4-year-old pen. These kids had been to an egg hunt or two. Not yet pros, but they knew what to do. When the signal was given, the children swarmed the field. Shouts of "Ahah!" and "I got one!" rang out across the grassy pen.
I was not ready for the 5 to 6-year-old pen. The energy radiating off of these kids was intense. The eggs were placed inside the northwest baseball diamond. As I walked over to take photos of the pen, a couple of kids smushed their faces against the chain link fence and strategized with one another on how to get the most amount of eggs. Techniques were passed back and forth between siblings and classmates from past hunts. This time, the organizers had a gate, and when they pushed that gate open, a wave of kindergartners flooded the field. Like a liquid, they rushed into every nook and cranny of the baseball diamond looking for any colorful, candy-filled eggs they could find.
That's when I heard a shaking and rattling of the adjoining fence. I turned to see the 7+ pen. A large double door held back the army of second and third graders. After two long years without the TVRPD egg hunt, these children were antsy and ready for some action. Even as one of the TVRPD staff explained the rules, a child rushed the gate and squeaked through, prematurely capturing a few eggs and almost causing a stampede. The brave staff member held the line a bit longer and wrangled the loose child back into place. After explaining the rules, the doors were broken down and the herd of children barreled into the pen. The baseball field looked like the streets of Pamplona during the Running of the Bulls. The roar of the children as they raced one another to find the golden egg, echoed between the brick fences and the community center. Then a shriek of joy as one child holds up the shining golden egg.
This was a good egg hunt.