Talleyrand Park Bellefonte , PA 16823
By Serge Bielanko
It's finally spring and we just want to be outside.
That's why more and more local families look forward to the Bellefonte Community Easter Egg Hunt down at Talleyrand Park every year. For so many of us, the hunt is our first family venture outdoors in a long time. If for some reason you haven't brought your kids to this annual even yet, you might want to consider going down there this year. Seriously. It's not your average Easter Egg Hunt, folks. This one, in conjunction with Historic Bellefonte Inc. and sponsored and made possible by everyone from local fire companies, clubs, and churches to local businesses, is quite huge and very fun. Volunteers have been stuffing over 15,000 plastic eggs with candy for a while now. That'll ensure that there are enough for every single child who shows up.
And show up they do. This hunt has become wildly popular.
According to Historic Bellefonte Inc. coordinator Mary McMurtrie, who helps plan and pull off the hunt every year, it has a lot to do with a certain feeling in the air.
"Young and young at heart are excited for the warmer season to come and we welcome everyone to have a little fun," she tells Bellefonte.com. "It's bright and beautiful with the colorful eggs on the new green grass. And I believe everyone recognizes Easter as a renewal of life and coming together as a community renews faith in one another."
There's always tons of cool things for kids to do in the time leading up to the actual hunt at 2pm.
"The State College Women's Roller Derby will have games for the kids," McMurtrie points out. "And Logan fire company will give children the opportunity try out their equipment. Plus a Penn State Research group will have information for parents on opportunities for research."
Don't forget that the Easter Bunny shows up at 1pm and that's always a hit. There's food and drink and a bounce house and once the hunt is over there's even the chance for kids to win something excellent. Lots of eggs have certificates that can be turned in for Easter baskets, gift certificates, and prizes from area businesses. Those local businesses are a critical but unsung part of this big day too. Along with a bunch of other people who really make sure that kids have the best Easter Egg hunt possible.
"The HBI, Elks, VFW, Moose, and the Undine & Logan fire companies all donate thousands of candy filled plastic eggs, as well as some businesses," says McMurtrie. "The residents at Centre Crest and the Senior Citizen Center began filling recycled plastic eggs as early as January. Many other groups, churches, businesses and volunteers donate the prizes, gift cards for in baskets, snacks and set up activities to entertain the children."
That's a strong show of local spirit. Even the teens get involved.
"The Bellefonte Football team and volunteers show up early to get the eggs out before the Easter Bunny arrives on the Undine fire truck."
When you break it all down, I have to believe people love this annual day out in Talleyrand Park because it is a very real way to toss winter to the history books. Even if the weather isn't all that spring-ish just yet. Look, as Central Pennsylvanians we understand that our children will likely look up at us right before the egg hunt starts, wince through the very possible icy wind, and declare loudly, "Mom...Dad...I'm so cold!"
Pfffft. We know how to handle that, don't we? At least I know I do. I just look down at them and smile.
"You're fine," I state flatly. "Pretty soon you'll be hunting for eggs and eating candy and it's spring now and all is right with the world!"
A blast of Arctic air might blow through the park right then. Or it might not. Early spring is fickle, you see. But still. The kids will sigh and turn their eyes back to the fields of colorful eggs before them. And right then I'll know. I'll know that they know that warm and magic days are right around the corner.
It all starts with this Easter Egg Hunt. It always does.
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