The time spent getting kids up and dressed and into wagons with their Easter baskets and lined up at the tape.
The hours and hours spent by the Easter bunny, aided by members of Morris Lions Club, filling and spreading eggs around the grounds.
It all pinnacled with a fast run-and-grab for Easter eggs at Goold Park Saturday morning.
The Lions Club annual Easter egg hunt was held on a surprisingly beautiful spring morning. The smallest of kids hunted for eggs a little more slowly than the older children, with their parents right alongside them for help.
Some had a bit of trouble with the crowd and the sudden burst of activity when they were allowed to collect the eggs and had to be consoled by their parents and grandparents.
Others toddled along happily, picking up as many eggs as were spilling out of their baskets.
The older kids knew exactly what they were doing. Further down in the eastern part of the park, it was a race for them and a bit of a competition to see who got the most eggs and who found the specially marked ones that got them basket prizes.
“I just like sprinted,” said Antonio Solis, 6, of Marseilles, “and I got to all the eggs.”
Antonio’s older sisters, Mariah and Alyssa, were also there — to help their 2-year-old twin sisters, Lily and Rosalie, at the hunt.
“It’s fun to watch them do this,” said their mother, Angie, who has taken the kids to other Easter egg hunts in the past, as well. “Goold Park always has a nice one. It’s fun.”
Angie said the family was headed over to her father’s house to Easter dinner, then planned on observing Easter Sunday with church and a brunch.
The Easter bunny was also expected to pay a visit to their house in the morning.
Lions Club member Louis Eliakis said they had put out quite a few more eggs this year than last, with more kids expected. About 5,000 plastic eggs filled with goodies and toys were laid out on the park lawns this year, as compared to 3,000 last year. Eliakis said he’s been working the egg hunt for about 40 years and still enjoys it.
“It’s fun for the kids,” he said. “It’s good to have the community come out here. Everything we do is for the community.”
The shelters in Goold Park were built by the Lions Club, as were the ones on Michael Drive and across the street from White Oak Elementary School.
Club members Jay Varland and Cheryl Tesdal were up by the toddlers’ area helping Saturday morning. Tesdal said Morris Lions Club also hosts the annual car show each fall, sells chicken dinners at Corn Festival, and cooks for Camp Lions each summer, which is a camp for visually and hearing impaired children.
The weekend egg hunt was divided into four age categories: 2- to 3-year olds at the upper pavilion; 4- and 5-year olds by the tennis courts; ages 6 and 7 and 8 through 10 down the hill in the lower section of the park.
The Easter bunny was also there for children to meet and for photo ops for parents.
Three-year-old Jovi Guerrero, of Morris, announced she was going to get eight eggs on the hunt this year. Her mother, Dawn, said she brought her daughter last year and they enjoyed it. The event lets the kids have some fun, she said.
Brandy Shouse, of rural Morris, said her two children have been counting down the days until the hunt.
“It’s the only way I could get my kids to go to bed,” she said with a laugh.
This was the first hunt for 18-month-old Camryn Wyrwa, who lives in Watertown, Wis. Camryn’s mother, Erin, said they were visiting family in Morris, and their daughter wanted to go on the hunt. The temperatures mid-morning were already climbing up to 50 degrees – decidedly warmer than what it has been in Wisconsin.
“She was really antsy,” Erin said. “She really wanted to go. This is a heat wave for us.”