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Egg-less Easter candy hunts are Saturday

It’s a Kodak Moment: Watching a toddler stoop to gather a brightly colored egg from a clump of grass and place it into a basket. We call these events Easter Egg Hunts, but that term is becoming as archaic as “Kodak Moment.”
Great Bend will have two Easter Egg Hunts on Saturday, but don’t expect to see any eggs — or hunting — for that matter. The events are actually dashes for candy ... lots of candy, for little kids up to sixth grade. If you bring a child to one, don’t be late. It may take a child hours or days to clean up his room, but set a pack loose on a field of candy and it will be cleared in about 5 minutes. Even so, it can offer an opportunity to snap a cute photo on your camera or smartphone.
The Great Bend Noon Kiwanis have sponsored their Easter Egg Hunt for many years. It will start at 9:30 a.m. sharp at the Kiwanis Walking Track on the north side of Veterans Memorial Park, just off McKinley Street. The field is divided into different age categories, so there’s no worry about preschoolers being trampled by sixth graders. It may be brief, but no one goes away empty handed.

The First Assembly of God’s “hunt” will be held in the afternoon, behind the church at 601 S. Patton Road. This is perhaps the ninth year for an event that was originally billed as a Giant Easter Egg Hunt. The eggs were plastic and contained candy. In 2012 the sponsors introduced the “Easter Egg Cannon,” designed and built by men at the church to help spread 35,000 plastic eggs between each run.
“I quit buying plastic,” Pastor Dale MacKinney said Thursday. All the kids care about is the candy.
So, on Saturday the sponsors will shoot 100,000 pieces of candy from the cannon. Kids can register for prizes starting at noon. There will be five age groups, and the youngest kids will go first at 1 p.m.

Individually wrapped pieces of candy with no plastic eggs are a better choice for the environment — certainly a safer choice than giving away thousands of dyed hard-cooked eggs. But some things haven’t changed. The hunts are a community tradition, both sponsored by volunteers and offered free of charge. They can be memorable events for kids and grown-ups.