The 19th Annual Elma VFW Auxiliary Easter Egg Hunt had another impressive turnout this year, with the ground being cleared of 1,400 eggs within five minutes.
Kids turned out in, what volunteers believed to be, record-setting numbers for the event.
“We’ve been doing this for 19 years; we started at the 10th Street Ballpark 19 years ago, and now you see it,” Bo Brown, commander of VFW Post 1948, said while taking in the crowd at the hunt.
Event organizer Pete Wickwire said she had to increase the hunting area for the age groups of 1 and young and 2- to 3-year-olds. As the event progressed through the years, Wickwire explained that kids seemed to have less and less room to maneuver while hunting.
The hunt that only had 29 participants in its first year now has grown to the point that counting the hunters would be a nearly-impossible task.
“It gets bigger every year, we do it for the kids and that’s the whole thing,” Brown said.
Eric and Janel Lewis brought their three daughters to the hunt for the third year.
“As they grow, they get more and more excited,” Eric said.
With 290 possible prizes this year and 1,400 eggs-worth of candy, kids had good reason to be excited.
“She’s almost 3 and it’s just the perfect age, She came out of her room this morning with a basket and said, ‘let’s go hunting,’” Tasha Hoxit said of her daughter, Braylann.
Volunteer Virginia Heppe said that over the years kids have come from all over to hunt at the fairgrounds. They have come from Aberdeen, Montesano, Satsop, Tacoma, Olympia, and, of course, Elma.
“A lot of kids come to Elma to visit grandparents and the grandparents bring them here,” Heppe explained.
Volunteers braved nasty weather while setting up for the event on Friday. High winds and hail destroyed nearly four tents that were going to be used on Saturday, but volunteers were able to patch two together for use. Even with the minor setback, the hunt was ready on time come Saturday.
“It’s all coming together,” Wickwire said Saturday morning,