Lee Zion • Lafayette Nicollet Ledger
Children in the 0-4 age group rush to gather Easter eggs at the Saturday event.
The Easter egg hunt was held again this year. And this time, it was held just in time for Easter, as a proper Easter egg hunt, as it has been traditionally in years past.
Last year, COVID-19 forced the Lafayette Area Lions Club to postpone the event. Instead of a mad dash on the grounds of Lafayette Charter School, the Lions held a drive-by giveaway, combined with the school’s end-of-the-year reverse parade in May.
But this time, the Lions were buoyed both by reduced pandemic restrictions and warm weather. That brought out about 125 kids and their families to the school grounds on Saturday morning.
In one important nod to COVID, the event was held in three separate heats in three separate areas of the school grounds. That reduced the number of people in close contact.
Youngsters 4 and under went first, at 10 a.m. in the northeast corner. Ages 5 through 8 came next, at 10:15 a.m. by the school entrance, while the 9- through 12-year-olds combed the area around the greenhouse and playground starting at 10:30 a.m.
In each case, 15 minutes was more than enough for the kids to clear the field.
“It doesn’t take them long,” said event organizer Ruth Klossner.
The younger age groups were allowed to collect 15 Easter eggs each. Children ages 9 to 12 were allowed to collect 20. After the children were done, they reported to the front of the school, where they received a gift bag, packaged by Lions members, with a toy animal, a chocolate Easter bunny and other goodies.
Lions members paid for most of the expenses themselves, with a little help from Hy-Vee in New Ulm. As in previous years, the supermarket threw in a gift card to cover the cost of the chocolate bunnies, Klossner said.
The Lions have run the event for at least 30 years. At the start, it was held in Lund Park, and then it moved to what was then Good Samaritan Senior Living (now the site of Big Dog’s). Back then, the seniors filled the Easter eggs, she recalled.
After Good Samaritan moved to Winthrop, the Lions moved the Easter egg hunt to the school. The school has an added advantage, because if the weather is bad, the Easter egg hunt can be moved indoors, to the school gym. The most recent time this happened was in 2018.