Nearly two dozen children lined up at the starting line. Their eyes laser-focused on the prize. Their sweet tooth at full speed.
Senior Pastor Joshua Brunette started the countdown, and the youngsters lended a hand — “5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...” and Brunette sounded the air horn, initiating the start of the Easter egg hunt and carnival at New Hope Fellowship in Sutherlin on Saturday.
The field behind the church on East Central Avenue was painted off into three lanes based on age groups and, once the horn sounded, children stormed the field to find their goodies which were hidden inside plastic eggs. Among the regular pastel eggs were the coveted “golden eggs,” which held a prize suited for a piggy bank.
The church held the Easter celebration for children while maintaining safety protocols due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Adults and children wore face coverings and social distancing was encouraged as parents watched their youngsters ramble through the grass field gathering their bounty.
While many of the traditional activities surrounding Easter had been put on hold due to the pandemic, Brunette saw and opportunity to reach out to the community and bring people together on the Holy weekend.
“This was really the first step in the right direction of letting the community know we’re here for you,” Brunette said.
Once the eggs had been retrieved and the children had taken inventory of their sugary-sweet bounty, 11-year-old Jazlyn McBee, of Oakland, was pretty happy about her haul.
“I got lots!” Jazlyn said.
Her younger sister, Mykiah, 9, also scored big, finding two of the coveted golden eggs in addition to all of the other offerings in the field.
Knowing there was more candy around the corner, as the party moved into the church gymnasium for other games, Mykiah had a plan for her Easter egg hunt harvest.
“I’m going to hide it in my room so my parents won’t steal it.”