The Easter Egg Hunt in West Frankfort is still in the planning stages but volunteers putting together the event are teasing with a few new additions being announced for this March, including horse and carriage rides to follow.
This year’s Easter Egg Hunt is scheduled for March 30 at the Frankfort Area Historical Museum. Times are set by age group. Walkers to age 4 are set to hunt at 11 a.m. Children 5 years old to 7 years old will begin at 11:30 a.m. and kids 8 years to 11 years old will be sent out at noon.
The free event, hosted by Southern Illinois SCARE Association, was brought back to life after a long hiatus in town just last year. The group planned for about 50 people, going off of numbers from the last year it took place, and was surprised with a crowd of about 250 participants lined up to hunt.
SCARE founder and president Tara Fasol-Chambers, who also serves as a member of the West Frankfort City Council, said that the group couldn’t have been more pleased to see the community was excited about the event’s return and will be purchasing three times the eggs as last year to ensure all hunters get their share.
“When you start something that has never been done or bring back something that hasn’t been done in years, you really don’t have a good foundation for knowing what to expect,” she said. “We’ve done things that we thought would be a hit and literally had nobody show up. Other times, like this and our annual charity haunted house, we take a risk and are overwhelmed by the support of the community and their excitement over the events. Previous years hadn’t produced a lot of people for the hunts but we wanted to give it a shot and now we know, plan big because parents and kids missed this West Frankfort tradition. We get it. We did too, that’s why we wanted to bring it back. So, this year will be quite bigger than last.”
The event will split the children into three groups and also split the hunt area into three spaces so that younger kids and older kids aren’t vying for the same eggs.
Age groups will be segregated by children walking up to age 4 years old, 5 years up to age 7 years old and 8 years old up to age 11 years old. Parents are allowed to accompany the youngest hunters, walkers to age 4, but the middle and older children will be asked to go without help, although volunteers will be on hand to help kids and parents are welcomed to walk the edge of the hunting area to take pictures or just keep a better eye on kids.
“It is a big open area, so you can see your kids fine,” Fasol-Chambers said. “But, we understand if you want to walk along the edge and keep closer to them. I’m a mom, too. We just want to make sure it is fair for all the kids. We will have out thousands of edible marshmallow eggs. We will also have several plastic eggs with little prize notes inside. The boy and the girl from each age group who find the most eggs total gets the big prize from their age group, as well.”
Horse and carriage rides will be available for a small fee, with all proceeds going to charity, starting at 10:30 a.m. and going until 12:30 p.m.
“We, as always, operate on all fundraised and donated funds for every event that SCARE puts on, because we give all of our money to folks in need and community projects,” said Fasol-Chambers. “We are always looking for folks who can donate some prizes, donate towards the egg purchase costs or even just come volunteer that day to help kids find their way to their age group or sign up for the pony rides. We love the support we always get in our town that we love so much. We do these things to give back to West Frankfort and are always looking to add new people to our list of volunteers so we can keep these things going for many years to come. We have ten behind us and we are more than ready to tackle the next ten.”
For more information or to volunteer, contact Fasol-Chambers at email@example.com or call 618-923-5576.