COLUMBIA — For many children of Columbia, Easter egg hunts are an annual springtime favorite.
Columbia Parks and Recreation is sponsoring the annual Douglass Egg Hunt EGGstravaganza, and the city has partnered with an MU recreation class to organize a new event: a flashlight egg hunt.
The traditional egg hunt will be from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at Douglass Park. The event is free and open to children under the age of 12.
The EGGstravaganza will be similar to last year in regards to games, activities and prizes, according to Karen Ramey, superintendent of recreation and community services.
“The bunny sack races are always rather popular, as well as the face painting area for all ages,” Ramey said.
There will be sidewalk chalk and other activities as well during the hunt. More than 2,600 eggs will be hidden in the park and the hunts will be divided by age groups. A mix of candy and “tokens” will be in the eggs and given out for participating in games.
In addition to the Saturday egg hunt, the department joined with the MU Parks and Recreation Programming class to put on a Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt at Stephens Lake Park Friday that requires pre-registration.
“Other parks departments have been offering the flashlight hunts,” said Camren Cross of the city parks department. “We thought it would be fun to try it in Columbia.”
The site has been reviewed and declared a safe area for the hunt. “We will have plenty of students, parents and staff to provide a safe environment,” Cross said.
Prizes for the nighttime egg hunt will include MU sports memorabilia, toys, gift baskets and passes for community activities.
Check-in for the Flashlight Egg Hunt will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Riechmann Pavilion, 2300 E. Walnut St. Children will be separated into three age groups: 4 to 5, 6 to 7 and 8 to 10. An adult must accompany all ages during the hunt.
The Easter Bunny will be present at the flashlight hunt, and Crosssaid he encourages parents to bring cameras to take their children’s pictures.
“Sign up now, find a flashlight and a basket, and join us for some great fun at their first-time event,” Cross said.
There is a $7 fee for the flashlight hunt, and pre-registration is required by calling 874-7460 by Wednesday.