Tuesday, March 20 , 2018, 1:12 pm | Mostly Cloudy 63º


Elings Park Is Hopping with Annual Easter Egg Hunt

Park rolls out community welcome to build egg-citement for summer camp programs

Easter came early for hundreds of local children Saturday at Elings Park. For almost two decades, the nonprofit park, located at 1298 Las Positas Road, has hosted a free annual Easter Egg Hunt for children ages up to 11 in an effort to bring the community together.

“Elings Park is all about the local community,” said Steen Hudson, the park’s executive director for the past four years. “It’s events like these that help build a sense of community and vibrancy. That’s really the glue that holds our community together.”

An estimated 400 to 500 children, most clutching baskets, converged on the park’s softball fields Saturday morning to jockey for the nearly 5,000 candy-filled plastic eggs that the Easter Bunny, along with around 30 park staff members and volunteers, had strewn around the outfield grass. The hunt, which got rolling just after 10 a.m., was split into three different age groups: 0-to-3, 4-to-6, and 7-to-11. Complimentary doughnuts were provided by Spudnuts and Starbucks coffee was available for the parents of the excited children, who got to enjoy music, arts and crafts, face-painting, and two inflatable jump-houses that were donated for the festivities by Luna’s Jump.

And, of course, the Easter Bunny himself was on hand to take pictures with the children, and make sure that everyone got plenty of goodies in their baskets.

Sprinkled in among the endless sea of eggs were a handful of “golden” eggs that contained special discounts to the numerous summer camp programs offered at the 230-acre park.

Tyler Spier, the summer camp program director, was responsible for organizing Saturday’s egg hunt, and is hopeful that the event will help spread the word about the park’s summer camps, which include basketball, BMX, mountain biking, science, soccer, softball, sports activities and theater.

The emcee of the event was Morgan William, one of the park’s Sports Activities Camp counselors, and a P.E. teacher at Hollister School.

It was a picturesque day for an egg hunt, and the ubiquitous smiles on the faces of children and parents alike were a pleasant reminder of Santa Barbara’s tight-knit community.

“This park has been here since 1980,” said Hudson, “and it’s events such as these that have been, and will continue to be, a big part of the rich tradition of our park.”

Click here for more information about the programs offered at Elings Park.

— Kevin McFadden is a Noozhawk contributor.

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