The Wynne Home Arts Center has hosted a community Easter Egg Hunt for at least seven years, but none as successful as the one offered this year. The 2019 event attracted some 300 people over the course of the day, with children of all ages enjoying sack races, hula hoops, bubble-blowing, ring tosses, photos with the Easter Bunny, free hot dogs, and, of course, an Easter Egg Hunt.
The Wynne Home Arts Center is a wonderful 19th Century home that was donated to the City of Huntsville in the 1990s. Since then, it’s been the community’s center for the arts, as well as many civic, cultural, and civic activities. Managed by a staff of two (Linda Pease as the Cultural Services Coordinator; and Lauren Clay as the Program Coordinator) and an intern (Princess Hutson), the Wynne Home hosts or sponsors approximately 100 events per year.
To assist with this year’s event, the LEAP Ambassadors and members of the Pre-Law Society were on hand to lead the activities, cook the food (some of which was sponsored by the wonderful “Friends of the Wynne“), and otherwise ensure that things unfolded smoothly. So, we arrived at 8am, and we got to work, hiding eggs, placing games, putting up decorations, and so on.
The itinerary for the day was as follows:
- 10:30-11:05am: Sidewalk Chalk, Ring-Toss, Hula Hoops, Streamers, and Crafts
- 11:05-11:35am: Sack Races
- 11:35-Noon: Donut on a String
- Noon: Easter Egg Hunt
- 12:15: Picnic Lunch
Although the event didn’t officially begin until 11:00am, we just take it for granted that people will arrive early. And that was certainly true this year. By 10:50am, we had about 50 people on hand, with numerous activities available for entertainment.
At the stroke of eleven, the Easter Bunny made her debut, and she was a huge hit with the children, numerous mothers, and a few fathers.
Shortly thereafter, we kicked off our sack races, running approximately 10 heats of six children each, partitioned into ages (a) 0-4, (b) 5-8, and (c) 9 and up.
The winner of each hit won a ticket, which they could redeem at the prize table. Popular prizes included fidget spinners among the youngsters, although older kids seemed attracted to the bubbles.
It was also nice to see the media on hand. Josh Criswell from the Item, Wade Thibodeaux from Walker County Press, and Megan Montgomery from The Houstonian.
At 11:35am, we kicked off the donut-on-a-string event, which is more popular with the parents, perhaps, than the children. The rules of this game are simple: eat the donut off the string, without using your hands or allowing the donut to fall to the ground.
At noon, we had the culminating event: the Easter Egg Hunt. Although the Wynne Home is large, wooded, and adorned, it is a challenge to find places to hide 800 eggs, particularly when hiding from extraordinarily determined children (and a few parents). As with the sack and donut contests, the hunt is divided into three age groups. In each of these sections, we hid “golden eggs,” which were redeemable for a large chocolate Easter Bunny. Because the kids are so determined, the hunt is a short one.
By 12:02, about 90 percent of the eggs had been found, some by very determined parents.
The quick hunt allowed the families approximately an hour to eat the free hot dogs provided by the Wynne Home (with drinks, cookies, and chips), take additional photos, and play more games.
At its peak attendance, we realized we had 265 people and only 100 hot dogs, so we called Dr. Ralph Pease, who made an emergency run to the grocery store. With these heroics, we were able to provide food for everyone.
During this relative down time, the Easter Bunny had the opportunity to show off her hopping skills, engaging in a sack race with youngsters.
And she also showed off her hula hoop skills.
As the event began to wind down, the volunteers had the opportunity to engage in a little fun. We had an all-volunteer sack race, won by Sawyer Massie (males) and Alina Ward (females).
And when 1:00pm hit and the event ended, we had the opportunity to eat lunch, finishing up the hot dogs purchased by Dr. Pease.
It was a relaxing end to an enjoyable day. We had a chance to catch up with Lauren Clay, Linda and Ralph Pease, and reflect on another wonderful community event offered by the Wynne Home Arts Center.
The LEAP Ambassadors would like to thank the unpaid volunteers for the event, including: Sawyer Massie (LEAP Ambassador), Makayla Mason (LEAP Ambassador), Victoria McClendon-Leggett (LEAP Ambassasdor), Valerie Wilson (Pre-Law Society), Olivia Kelly (Pre-Law Society), Ethan Stephens (Pre-Law Society), Alina Ward, Megan Arnold, Susan Sanders (Texas Thyme Unit of the Herb Society of America), Haley, Kayla, and the Friends of the Wynne.