Hundreds hunt in first annual 'all ages' egg event

Marie Havenga • Mar 31, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Alicia Hass said she ran 4 miles around Grand Haven on Friday morning, in search of hidden eggs.

But she and her children — Weston, 8, and Hattie, 4 — found nary a one.

“We went around the police station, Central Park, Washington Street and the boardwalk,” Hass said of her family's 90-minute egg hunt. “We've had no luck.”

Despite their eggless experience, Hass said she enjoyed the premise of the “all ages” egg hunt, sponsored by the Grand Haven Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“It's a super great way to get everyone outside,” she said. “But everyone down the boardwalk is empty-handed.”

Hass and her family were among hundreds of hunters who braved the cold Friday in search of eggs filled with prizes from Grand Haven businesses. As of late Friday afternoon, about 100 of the 250 eggs were still unclaimed.

The local visitors bureau’s marketing and communications manager, Stefanie Herder, said she is keeping close track of all the redeemed eggs.

Nicole and Scott Goldberg hunted Friday with their 6-year-old daughter, Maya. The Goldbergs roamed the woods behind the Imagination Station while Scott ran up the Mulligan's Hollow ski hill in search of eggs.

“This is something different than all the eggs all down on the lawn,” Nicole said. “Maya is in Girl Scouts (Troop 4831), so it's nice to get out in the woods.”

The event includes eight golden eggs (three still unclaimed as of late Friday afternoon). Or a chocolate egg.

“I love chocolate so much,” Maya said.

Angela Bugay of Spring Lake Township hunted around Centertown with her 7-year-old twin daughters, Lena and Lola. They had previously searched Duncan Memorial Park, downtown and the boardwalk for eggs, but found none.

“We're going home,” Angela said. “We're freezing.”

Herder said the hunt will continue until the last egg is found.

“It was crazy bananas this morning,” she said. “We've been tracking where we put the eggs with a secret internal map.”

Herder said rumors that people scarfed up all of the eggs in the middle of the night are untrue.

Each egg has a slip in it with instructions on how to redeem the prize, donated by local businesses.

About 10 volunteers hid the eggs late Thursday night. All were hidden outdoors on public property — some in leaves, a bush or dune grass.

“Some of our volunteers got very creative about where they were putting the eggs,” Herder said.

The eggs are larger than the traditional colorful plastic ones used in egg hunts.

“They're a bigger size and almost all of them have a metallic kind of sheen,” Herder said. “Our eggs all have numbers on them.

“Somebody is going around town putting other candy eggs out there,” she added.

Herder said she's elated with the turnout — more than 2,000 said on the event's Facebook page that they would be attending the weekend hunt.

“I was here by 6 a.m., and by 7 a.m. I saw tons of people walking around downtown,” she said. “I'm glad that families are doing it together. There were so many people down here, it was really cool. It lets people know the variety of things we have to do in our community.”

Herder said the hunt will be an annual event.

“We look forward to taking this year and building on it for next year,” she said.

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