It only took minutes for hundreds of area children to clean the Argonne Forest floor of thousands of pieces of colorful foil-wrapped chocolates Saturday morning. Great Bend’s Kiwanis Club arrived early that morning to scatter boxes of candy around the area in Veterans Memorial Park where the club has planted several varieties of trees for public enjoyment and education.
Parents with kids began arriving around 9 a.m. and the throng of excited children carrying all manner of Easter containers grew steadily. Finally, at exactly 9:30 a.m., a siren wailed, signaling the time when kids could finally dart and dash about, picking up foil covered chocolates hiding among the blades of grass, newly sprouted dandelions and around the trunks of trees. The activity and level of concentration was notable, and while many kids made a mad dash to pick up as many treats as possible, toddlers stopped in amazement as they discovered each treat. Older siblings and parents helped the youngest as they learned the ropes of this traditional rite of spring.
And mother nature did her part, keeping the clouds, if not the wind, at bay. More than one Kiwanis Club member said it happens every year. The wind is bound to pick up at about 9:02 a.m. Still, when faced with the prospect of free candy, hardly a child out fussed.