As the countdown began Saturday morning, children of all ages clamored to be the first on the rainbow-scattered lawn at Quakertown Park for Denton’s annual Easter Eggstravaganza egg hunt.
Hundreds of children toting everything from superhero pails to custom wicker baskets gathered more than 30,000 pastel-colored eggs stuffed with candy and toys, organizers said.
While the egg hunt might have been the highlight of the day, it didn’t stop 15-month-old Cruz Salazar from running around in the shade under the awning at the Denton Civic Center.
His mother, Maria Salazar, said this is her son’s second Easter, but the first time he understands what’s going on.
“We got a picture with the Easter Bunny already and he liked that a lot,” the Denton mother said.
Will this be a new tradition for the Salazar family?
“Yes, it will,” Maria Salazar said before running after her son.
The Civic Center was filled Saturday morning with the aroma of freshly popped popcorn and other concessions. Craft tables were set up throughout, with dozens of children crafting their own paper Easter eggs and bunny ears, or waiting in line for their turn in one of the inflatable bounce houses, slides or obstacle courses.
Jeremy Jones Sr. drove from Frisco with his girlfriend and two children, Jeremy, 8, and Chase, 2, to check out the festivities.
He said the kids were having a great time.
“It’s not that bad of a drive and there is a lot to do,” Jones said of Denton. “We will be coming back for future events probably.”
An estimated 40 parks and recreation employees were on hand to make the event happen, and several volunteers worked the outdoor egg hunt, according to Shirley Lewis, a co-organizer of the event and youth and teen manager for the recreation department.
“This is my third year helping out, and the response is always amazing,” she said. “We want people to be excited not only about the event, but being a part of the community.”
Seeing the moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas enjoying the experience is just as much a tradition as the hunting of the eggs, she said.
“It’s what keeps people coming back for more,” Lewis said.
MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.