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>> EASTER EGG HUNT IN FREDERICKSBURG, AND EGGSPLOSION IN STAFFORD!
Easter Egg Hunt and Eggsplosion

 In Stafford County, the Eggsplosion event will bring smiles.
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Date published: 4/14/2011

BY COLLETTE CAPRARA

FOR THE FREE LANCE-STAR

Things will definitely be hopping this weekend, as the Easter Bunny pays two visits to area children on Saturday.

CURTIS MEMORIAL PARK

If you hear a great noise coming from the vicinity of Curtis Memorial Park, fear not. That would just be an Eggsplosion--the annual rite of spring hosted by, among others, Stafford County's Department of Parks and Recreation.

The event is filled with nonstop activities, including photo-ops and greetings with Mr. Bunny, a series of four exciting egg hunts for kids whose ages range from 2 and under to 8-10, and a host of amusements including pony rides and a variety of inflatables.

"It's a family-oriented springtime celebration. It's an exciting time for us and we look forward to it," said recreation programmer Derrick Carr.

In the egg hunts, children will scout out brightly colored plastic eggs, which they can redeem for a prize packet.

The first 500 participants to arrive will be given a free bucket for their bounty.

"I'm sure that even the littlest child will find eggs," said Carr. "For each age group, we put out at least 1,000 eggs.

"It always reminds me of a large vacuum--all I do is say 'Go!' and get out of the way. The next thing I know, the grass has been completely cleared of those hundreds of bright eggs."

At 12:30 p.m. there will be a hiatus in the egg hunts, as nationally acclaimed entertainer Jonathan Austin takes the stage.

As indicated by the title of Austin's show, "The 24-Hour Emergency Juggling and Magic Service," his performance intertwines his dexterity and magical feats with a touch of humor as he interacts with his audience.

KENMORE PARK

Meanwhile, at Memorial (Kenmore) Park in Fredericksburg, 12:30 p.m. marks the launch of another series of egg hunts for area children, beginning with the first round for toddlers ages 2 and under.

There will be two hunts for each age group, to ensure that every child can gather some eggs, which they trade in for age-appropriate packets of candies.

Participants should bring a basket or bag for their gatherings.

"The little ones are so cute. Many of them come wearing bunny ears or pink and green pastel outfits," said JoAnne Jones, superintendent for leisure affairs for Fredericksburg's Department of Parks and Recreation, which is co-hosting the event with the Fredericksburg Jaycees.

The Easter Bunny will mingle with the children before each hunt begins, and parents are welcome to bring a camera to capture the moment.

"The children just love the bunny; they just about knock him over when they see him," said Jones. "And the small ones just hug him and hold on to him!"

Parents are encouraged to arrive early for the egg hunts at either site to allow time for traffic, parking and locating the designated sites.

Food vendors will be on-site at each park throughout the events. The anticipated guest list for each celebration is 400-500 children.

Collette Caprara is a local writer and artist.


What: Easter events for children Where: "The Eggsplosion" at Curtis Memorial Park, 58 Jesse Curtis Lane, Hartwood When: Saturday, April 16

11 a.m.-3 p.m.: food vendors and amusements

11:30 a.m.: Egg hunt, ages 2 and under

Noon: Egg hunt, ages 3-4

12:30 p.m.: Jonathan Austin's juggling and magic performance

1:30 p.m.: Egg hunt, ages 5-7

2 p.m.: Egg hunt, ages 8-10

Cost: $7 before April 16; $9 at the gate. Admission includes all activities. Info: 540/658-5116; staffordparks.com

What: Easter egg hunt, children in third grade and younger Where: Memorial (Kenmore) Park, 1101 Kenmore Ave., Fredericksburg When: Saturday, April 16. First egg hunt begins 12:30 p.m. Cost: Free Info: 540/372-1086; frederickksburgva.gov (parks and recreation)