Huge Easter Egg Hunt at Oaks Park

COLORFUL EVENT VIDEO HERE | See why many outer East Portland families came to Oaks Amusement Park for their romp for candy with the Easter Bunny …

Some of the 20 Sellwood Moreland Egg Hunt volunteers finish planting 6,000 plastic Easter eggs – containing candy – in Picnic Area 9 at Oaks Amusement Park.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

For decades, the Sellwood Moreland Improvement League (SMILE) neighborhood association hosted a relatively small Egg Hunt at the south end of Westmoreland Park — then the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the event for two years..

But, like last year, the people at the nonprofit Sellwood Community House (SCH) revived the event at Oaks Amusement Park, and this year held it on March 8, rebranded as “The Sellwood Moreland Egg Hunt”.

Reassembling the opened eggs for that popped open, before their time, is volunteer Stella Brown, of the Portland Oaks Bottom Lions Club.

Sellwood Community House Director of Programs and Operations Mackenzie Torres, and Chief Organizer Elizabeth Milner, pause for a photo during set-up.

“We have the staff and volunteers available to organize this free event – and, again this year, we reached out to nonprofit Oaks Park which has generously donated the site,” explained SCH Director of Programs and Development Elizabeth Milner, as the event was being set up south of The Oaks’ Outdoor Pavilion.

A large crowd gathers, awaiting the start of the Easter Egg Hunt.

“This year, we stuffed 6,000 eggs that have been distributed in four different age-specific sections of the park,” said Milner.

Although the “hunt” – as always – was over in just a few minutes, other activities were planned as well, Milner pointed out. “Afterwards, kids can get pictures on their family members’ phones taken with the Easter Bunny and with The Oaks’ mascot, Chipper the Squirrel; they can get their face painted by our Sellwood Community House Volunteers; and they can have their hand-made art turned into buttons made by Moreland Presbyterian Church.”

Before the “hunt” gets underway, the Milligan family from the Richmond neighborhood gets a photo-op with the Easter Bunny.

The crowd of some 1,000 kids and adults – held back by thin plastic tapes – grew restless as the start time of 11 a.m. came, and then and was unexplainably put on hold for about ten minutes.

Watch the joyful madness of this Easter Egg Hunt:

As the countdown finally started, not being able to clearly hear the countdown from the emcees, 105.1 the Buzz radio morning show hosts Liz and Mike, some of the older kids made a premature mad dash into their area.

But the rest of the eager throng didn’t have long to wait before the general dash for the eggs was on.

The hunt is on; seconds after it begins, the egg gathering is well underway.

Following behind the littlest kids, their parents helped them scoop up eggs. Although chaotic, participants in the frenzy were, for the most part, polite and joyful.

“The volunteers love to watch the kids have a good time, especially our ten teenage volunteers,” observed Milner. “It wasn’t that long ago that they were out at events like this running around getting eggs themselves, and having a good time.”

SCH Teen volunteer Violet Maloney does face painting.

“We at Sellwood Community House thank Oaks Amusement Park for hosting this free community event, volunteers from partner organizations Portland Oaks Bottom Lions Club, SMILE Neighborhood Association, Moreland Presbyterian Church and the Sellwood Moreland Business Alliance (SMBA) for participating in the event,” Milner listed. She also thanked the SMBA for sponsoring part of the candy for the Hunt and 105.1 the Buzz for publicizing and participating in the event.

“And, thank you especially to the two dozen volunteers who made this event possibly by spending their Saturdays filling plastic eggs with candy and helping at the event,” Milner concluded.

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


Comments are closed.

© 2005-2024 David F. Ashton East PDX News™. All Rights Reserved.