Rainfall Saturday could not dampen the fun at Loudon Municipal Park as hundreds of children raced to pick up thousands of Easter eggs at the Tate & Lyle Amphitheater.
In total, 7,000 eggs were distributed containing candy, prizes and even money. Children rushed into areas sectioned off by age group and retrieved the eggs in a matter of minutes.
“I’m pleased this many people came out even with the weather,” Ramey Lyle, Loudon Parks and Recreation Department program coordinator, said. “We were watching the weather and it seemed like it kept changing on us. We decided to go ahead with it because it looked like it wasn’t getting too bad. With the way things have been this year, with all the rain … we tried to go ahead and do it. It looks like it’s worked out. Everybody had a good time and they’ve picked up all the eggs in about five minutes.”
This year’s Easter event was the largest in memory thanks in part to various activities offered prior to the hunt beginning at 2 p.m.
Amphitheater gates opened at 11 a.m. with inflatable games, a train ride, food vendors and various family activities. The extras could be financed because rainy weather caused the cancellation of events in December.
“We had a lot of sponsors for our Christmas in the Park event that didn’t actually happen,” Lyle said. “We tried twice back in December and it got rained out twice. The sponsors agreed to put those funds toward the egg hunt to make it a bigger event. This is the biggest egg hunt we’ve ever had.”
Loudon made sure the show went on.
Tim Dixon, Loudon city councilman, was thrilled to see the crowd, which he estimated at 200-300 children.
Dixon praised the department for standing by original plans and not being deterred by rain.
“They did a terrific job,” he said. “I felt like with the weather the way it was — it rained a little bit, but they were able to be successful and have the egg hunt without a hitch.
“... I’m glad they went ahead with the plans they had set forth,” he added. “I think all the children and the kids and even the adults had a great time and didn’t mind what rain we did have, which wasn’t a whole lot. They all enjoyed it.”
One of the many families to attend were Clint and Brittney Buttrey and their three children. The family showed up early and took part in some of the games and activities, including face painting.
“It has been awesome,” Brittney said. “Even though it’s been rainy, wet and they got a little cold, they’ve had a blast.”
The children didn’t mind the rain at all, Clint said.
“We greatly appreciate it (still going on),” he said. “It’s a good time.”
Lyle hopes to bring the additional activities back next year and will reach out to sponsors.
“I would say with the turnout today they’ll want to put up the funds again,” he said.