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A snowy search for Easter sweets

One parent warned that a collective sugar high was about to be unleashed in the Garden City.

On Saturday, about 2,000 children were drawn to Jaycee Park for the St. Catharines Jaycees 21st annual Easter Egg Hunt.

There, 50,000 foil-wrapped chocolate eggs were tossed onto the snow by volunteers as the little ones turned a roped-off search area into a frenzy.

Amid the happy hollering, there were tears when participants tripped and did icy face-plants or griped about low treat counts.

At the centre of the melee, and circling the egg zone for maximum coverage, was Brycen Worden, 6, from midtown St. Catharines, who was with parents Bruce and Zeljka Worden.

Brycen was seen toting a large Spiderman basket -"it's doing double duty, Halloween and Easter," his dad explained.

The Memorial School student and several school chums scored a motherlode of chocolate and could barely contain themselves.

"I think I'm done now, I got a lot of eggs," Brycen said, revealing a basket that was a stew of snow and multicoloured foil. "I grabbed them as fast as I could," he said.

There were four age categories in the hunt that involved children aged one to 10. Prizes were handed out for "prize eggs" that were found.

Easter Egg Hunt project chairman James Barber said numbers were somewhat low this year, as an early Easter and a hard winter made for cold, snowy conditions in the park.

Last year's numbers were also down because of inclement weather. In the past, the event has drawn between 4,000 and 7,000 children.

To Barber's side, Jaycee treasurer and volunteer Darren Fox was marvelling at one child who was only managing to scoop up handfuls of snow.

The older kids are a little more focused, Fox said. "They're more aware of what's going on and just what's at stake."

For Amy Harris, 29, the gathering is simply "a wonderful community event." The St. Catharines addictions counsellor was beside her three-year-old son, Marcus Harris.

"It's great to get the kids out to this and it's really a lot of fun," Harris said. "And I am noticing lots of open chocolate wrappers scattered in the snow right now."

The event included Niagara Inflatables and Games, the children's musical act The Smudge Fundaes, a wandering Easter Bunny and a colouring contest.

Donations of $1 or a non-perishable food item were accepted for Community Care of St. Catharines and Thorold.

The City of St. Catharines held its own Easter event for children and their families at Market Square on Saturday, with city hall's grounds the site of another mass Easter Egg hunt.

Source: St. Catharines Standard

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