Weekend Easter egg hunt draws hundreds of children

Hundreds of children converged on the Milford Green Saturday for what may have been the first egg hunt there in many years.

Organizers, who sent word about the hunt via Facebook and through the local schools and newspapers, were impressed with the turnout. At about 2 p.m. Saturday, there was hardly an empty spot on the green. Children waited with bags and baskets to be let loose on the egg-dotted grounds.

There was an Easter Bunny, played by Peter Berube of Pizzeria Uno, and even a pet pig named Otis, who was wearing bunny ears for the event.

The Milford Bank partnered with the Downtown Milford Business Association and the Boys & Girls Club of Milford to host this first Easter egg hunt. The event also included children’s games and crafts.

While the children appeared to have great fun, some parents got a little overzealous, ignoring directions to leave children to gather eggs for themselves. Some parents even rushed the field to get to the colorful plastic eggs, causing one organizer with a bullhorn to say, “Parents, please!”

Jorge Santiago, senior vice president of Milford Bank, estimated there were more than 500 children at the egg hunt. There were 10,000 eggs, some stuffed with candy, others with stickers and smaller toys. There also were 69 gold-colored eggs that could be exchanged for bigger prizes.

Alderman Paula Smith, one of the organizers, credited Milford Bank for sponsoring the event. She said she didn’t remember there ever being an Easter egg hunt on the Milford green. She remembers going as a child to an egg hunt at Wilcox Park behind the library, but never on the green.

“Watching the kids flow onto the field was great,” Smith said. “The kids were tremendous, and it was a wonderful community event.”

Santiago said if there’s another egg hunt next year, they may consider a bigger, more open location, such as Wasson Field or the Wally Evans Field next to the Boys & Girls Club.

Susmitha Thokala and Laxmi Nelakuditi said their children didn’t find eggs because they arrived late, but they said they had fun anyway and thought the hunt was a great idea for local children.

Kelly Aspras, 7, said she had a lot of fun. She and her friend Rhianna Solli, 6, worked together to gather 26 plastic eggs off the ground.

Both girls said they hope there will be another Easter egg hunt next year.