Archive for Thursday, April 20, 2006

An egg-cellent Easter in Baldwin City

April 20, 2006

With the sun shining down and children roaming everywhere, Rainbow Experience Preschool and MidAmerica Bank helped Baldwin City celebrate another Easter.

The annual Easter Egg Hunt and other festivities took place Saturday morning on Baker University's campus.

"It was very successful," REP Director Dana Hart said. "We had a very large crowd, which was possible because of the weather. It was well organized and we were really happy with the turnout on our basket auction."

MidAmerica Bank President Dave Hill thought the crowd was near record size.

"It was terrific. It was very, very good. I think it's one of the biggest turnouts we've ever had," Hill said. "It's the first time we've used a full bottle of helium for balloons."

Baker University football coach Mike Grossner enjoyed his first time at the event.

"It is a great event and a lot of fun for the kids," Grossner said. "The little things on the side make it a great way to spend the day before Easter. It takes a lot of pressure off the parents."

Hart also said the weather was a big reason for the large turnout.

"It always helps when Easter is in April," Hart said. "It's always much nicer outdoors. The trees are popping out and it seems more like spring."

The event began at 10 a.m., but the main attraction was the egg hunt, which started at 11 a.m. Hart was happy with the turnout for the egg hunt.

"I think we had a really good turnout," Hart said. "I know they have had some big years, but this was larger than last year."

Another large draw to the event was the silent basket auction, which lasted for one hour. Most of the baskets were donations from local businesses.

"We've had the auction in past years, but not nearly to the extent that we had it this year," Hart said. "We did change how it was operated and how we collected for it. We had information sheets up around town. I think many of the business owners came out to see what kind of turnout we had."

Totals on the auction were not available yet, according to Hart.

Other activities during the day included gunny sack races, bean bag tic-tac-toe, photo opportunities, stick-on tattoos and finger print testing.

Hart said the tattoos were popular this year, because it replaced face painting.

"Last year, we had face painting and that wasn't as popular with the parents because it gets on their clothes," Hart said. "This year we changed to the tattoos, which are much faster. There were a wide variety of things to choose from. The tattoos were a lot simpler and a lot less messy."

The gunny sack race offered a game for older children.

"The sack race was a lot of fun," Hart said. "A lot of the older kids enjoyed that. We had things for all ages to do."

The event also gave REP a chance to recruit children for next year.

"I had a fun time and I got to contact a lot of perspective parents," Hart said. "A lot of parents came up to the table wanting information. We do our open enrollment this Saturday at the preschool. There were a lot of community members interested, since we can now take their children at 30 months."

Saturday also saw the running of the Easter train from Midland Railway. Three trains left Baldwin City and headed for Norwood, where children participated in an egg hunt and photos with the Easter Bunny.

Hill really enjoyed all of the festivities Saturday.

"We've got so many young families here," Hill said. "The numbers were great, the weather was great and the people who organized it were great. It's just another great reason to live in Baldwin. It's a small town activity that makes people feel at home and comfortable."

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