There have been "over 21" egg hunts in the area for several years, but they've never fit my schedule. This is the second year three cities in our area (Manchester, Ballwin, and Ellisville) have joined together to sponsor a hunt, which changes locations each year. This year it was at Bluebird Park in Ellisville. When I signed up, they told me to bring a flashlight, a bag or basket, and a cooler with beverages for the post-hunt bonfire.
Since we didn't know what parking would be like, Tony and I arrived at the park early, but it wasn't really necessary. The hunt was held on the softball fields in the back of the park. Park employees directed us down a winding road to a lot. We parked the car and walked to a pavilion to check in. After we checked in we walked over to the large, roped off large hunt area. Yesterday's rain had made the infields quite muddy, and there was a huge puddle right where third base would be. Eggs were scattered haphazardly over the grass, not hidden at all.
While we waited for the hunt to start, we stood close to the bonfire; as the sun went down it got quite chilly, and I was glad I'd worn my winter coat. I checked out the opposition. Everyone had to be over 21 to attend, but the crowd skewed to the younger side. By the time the hunt started it was completely dark and there were several hundred anxious people lined up at the entrance to the field.
When the hunt started everyone ran out into the area, quickly snatching eggs. I held my flashlight in my right hand, with the handles of my bag over my wrist; that kept my left hand free for grabbing. Tony and I had agreed to stay together, but when I started running the adrenaline kicked in and I left him to fend for himself. At one point I stepped into a large puddle, completely soaking my shoes, but kept on going. All the flashlight beams bouncing around made the whole thing surreal. Each person could take 17 eggs; it didn't take long for the hunt to finish.
Afterwards, it was time to see what we'd gotten. Tony and I found a spot to sit and open our eggs. Most contained Tootsie Rolls or Hershey's Kisses, although there were also a few bite-sized candy bars. In addition to the candy, each green egg we'd gathered could be exchanged for a prize. I had two and Tony had one; we won a portable radio and two five dollar gift certificates for a local restaurant.
We retrieved our prizes and donated the empty eggs back to the park, then we sat by the fire for a bit. Even its heat couldn't keep my wet feet warm, though. It was time to leave.