PARKERSBURG - The Easter holiday season began with an Easter Egg Hunt and the second annual Spring-Easter Celebration on Tuesday at Parkersburg High School.
About 400 children from toddlers through age 12 gathered in the horseshoe at PHS for an Easter Egg Hunt sponsored by Parkersburg Elks Lodge 198.
About 2,000 plastic eggs containing treats were quickly gathered up by the eager children, divided into those ages 4 and under and the older children from 5-12. One golden egg in each group earned the finder an Easter gift basket, with the first going to Leland Holbrooks (4 and under) and the second to Jackson Simmons (5-12 years).
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Children in the 5-12 age group begin the dash for eggs during an Easter egg hunt sponsored by the Parkersburg Elks Tuesday at Parkersburg High School. The event was part of the Easter holiday celebration in the area.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Three-year-old Gabriel Floyd of Vienna, left, reaches for one of the prizes his six-year-old sister, Anna, right, got from an egg she found during the hunt.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Joe Paintiff, left, takes a picture of his two-year-old daughter Victoria, with one of her collected eggs while her mom, Jami, reaches for another egg following Tuesday's egg hunt at Parkersburg High School.
Photo by Wayne Towner
The Jackson Middle School Select Choir performs Tuesday during the second annual Spring-Easter Celebration at Parkersburg High School.
After last year's Spring-Easter Celebration, Dave Roberts, a trustee with the Elks Lodge, said organizers approached the Elks about adding the Easter Egg Hunt to this year's event and the lodge became part of this year's event.
"It's a great turnout," he said of the number of children and families who turned out for the hunt, adding the Elks were interested in returning for future programs.
Following the hunt, the second annual Spring-Easter Celebration began at 6 p.m. on the front steps of the high school, with holiday music and the lighting of an Easter basket display to symbolize the holiday season.
While many of the families with younger children left after the hunt, others remained for the program and were joined by other families. The celebration included the PHS Big Red Brass Ensemble, the A Cappella Choir, Student Council, Key Club, the Forge Student Ministries and the Jackson Middle School Select Choir.
Event organizer Kiki Angelos said she was pleased with the turnout for Tuesday's event and with the support from the community and organizations involved in the celebration.
The centerpiece of the celebration is the lighting of the Easter basket display next to the main entrance at PHS. Angelos said the basket will remain on display through the end of April and organizers are already making plans to create a larger display for next year's celebration.
Marietta resident Mark Brookover and his daughter Jacy, 9, attended Tuesday's lighting ceremony at PHS. Jacy had hoped to participate in the hunt, but they were a little too late for that so they enjoyed the rest of the program, her father said. Jacy said she likes going to Easter egg hunts and is looking forward to coming back for next year's event.
A PHS graduate, Brookover said they decided to attend Tuesday's event to see what it was like. He was glad to see such an event being held in the community.
"It's very good for the community, everybody coming together and enjoying themselves," he said.
Angelos said the Spring-Easter Celebration at PHS grew out of the positive response to the Mid-Ohio Valley Easter Parade, which she has helped organize each year.
This year's parade will be 2 p.m. Saturday in downtown Parkersburg. The parade will follow Market Street from the St. Joseph's Campus of Camden Clark Medical Center to the Parkersburg Municipal Building.
Prior to the parade, Breakfast with the Easter Bunny will feature a free breakfast with the Bunny and the Chick-Fil-A Cow from 9-10 a.m. Saturday at the Chick-Fil-A restaurant on Grand Central Avenue in Vienna.
One of the activities leading up to Saturday's parade will be the Easter hat contest from 7-9 p.m. Thursday at the Grand Pointe Conference Center in Vienna.
Hats will be judged in four categories: most creative, most original, most artistic and most reflective of the theme. The age groups to be judged in the hat contest are birth to 9 years, 9 years to 12 years, 12 years to 18 years and 18 and up.
Winners of the hat contest will receive prizes and get to participate in the parade on Saturday.