Lifestyle

North Whidbey firefighters put Easter bunny to work

Children race to collect eggs during the annual North Whidbey Firefighter Association Easter egg hunt at the Taylor Road Fire Station. More than 2,000 eggs were hidden in the three surrounding fields.  - Liz Burlingame/Whidbey News-Times
Children race to collect eggs during the annual North Whidbey Firefighter Association Easter egg hunt at the Taylor Road Fire Station. More than 2,000 eggs were hidden in the three surrounding fields.
— image credit: Liz Burlingame/Whidbey News-Times

At least 2,400 brightly colored, plastic eggs were nestled in the grass at the Taylor Road Fire Station, where children stood eagerly by with baskets Saturday.

The horn blared and kids scurried onto the field to gather up the eggs.

“It’s great to be able to stand out in the middle and watch their faces change. The excitement hits them all at once,” organizer Matt Buchholz said.

The North Whidbey Firefighters Association’s annual Easter egg hunt drew hundreds of children Saturday, despite the overcast skies and rain predictions. Similar hunts were held across the island Saturday and Sunday at several areas, including the Greenbank Farm and Lyle Ridge.

As the mass of kids worked their way to the center of the patch, seven-year-old Nathaniel Hummel helped his little brother, three-year-old Nickalas.

“Look over here!” Nathaniel exclaimed, directing his brother to the treasure-filled egg.

Within minutes, the area was picked clean.

“It takes hours to set up and it ends in a few minutes, like a flash in a pan,” Buchholtz said.

The firefighters and their families stuff the eggs the night before during a spaghetti feed.

After the event, children carried their basketsful to their parents and began to open up their prizes. A giant Easter bunny stood by for hugs and high-fives.

“I’m glad to see the turnout and we’re glad to give back each year,” Buchholz said.

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