‘Easter Egg Hunt’ hops over to Oaks Park

Watch our video of this event | Families from outer East Portland – in fact, from as far east as Damascus – weren’t disappointed by this revitalized and expanded event now held at Oaks Amusement Park …

In their large picnic area at Oaks Amusement Park, this volunteer was helping spread some of the 5,000 “Easter Egg” prizes in this year’s annual “Egg Hunt” on the Saturday morning before Easter.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Having not been informed about Easter Egg Hunt events in outer East Portland this year, a sure bet to attend the morning of April 16.

For decades, the annual Sellwood Moreland Improvement League (SMILE) Easter Egg Hunt has been a family tradition for area families on the Saturday morning before Easter at Westmoreland Park.

However, this was one of the many community events cancelled over the past two years, due to COVID-19 concerns. But this year, it was back – and in a big way – thanks to the combined efforts of several volunteer groups, led by the nonprofit Sellwood Community House.

Traveling in from Damascus to enjoy this Easter Egg Hunt here posing with the Easter Bunny, were the Brown family’s kids.

“We heard from community members that, after two years of a hiatus, they were hopeful the egg hunt would be revived,” explained the Community Relations Director of the Community House, Erin Fryer. “We were able to piece together a truly collaborative community to present it,” she told East Portland News.

For example, the bulk of candy was donated by the QFC Market; and volunteers from the Community House, SMILE, the Oaks Bottom Lions Club, and from Moreland Presbyterian Church together stuffed about 5,000 plastic eggs in the weeks leading up to it.

See what it was like to be at this festive event; watch our exclusive video:

“Another new partner this year was our host location, nonprofit Oaks Amusement Park. Their spacious, fenced-off picnic area was the perfect location to contain the egg hunt,” Fryer pointed out.

Families started arriving about an hour before the actual Easter Egg Hunt was slated to begin. Many took the opportunity to get treats and a hug, along with a photo, from the jolly Easter Bunny who was on hand.

Look at all the kids, lining up, ready to fill their baskets with candy!

It was impractical to count the number of people who attended: The astonishingly huge crowd was friendly and cordial as the kids lined up – divided by age group – to wait for the countdown to 11:30 a.m.

With kids running helter-skelter into the area, this “hunt” was, as usual, pretty much over in seven minutes.

At 11:30 a.m. sharp, the kids are off, and scrambling for the filled plastic Easter eggs, and wrapped candy, scattered in this Oaks Park picnic area.

Families stayed on to open and evaluate their candy treasures, to avail themselves of free train and carousel rides, and to have lunch on The Oaks’ Midway, before an early afternoon thunderstorm rolled through.

“This tuned out wonderfully – and it shows that we are truly better together,” smiled Fryer.

© 2022 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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