Thousands flock to Gorgas Park for Easter egg hunts, pony rides and face painting

Standing behind a folding table at Gorgas Park, Chantelle Fitzgerald asked parents passing by if they registered for the day’s Easter events. Most shook their heads, no.

“Here’s a bag, and now you’re registered!” she told them.

It’s a phrase she repeated hundreds of times throughout the day as she greeted about 3,000 people at Gorgas Park for the Easter festivities on Saturday, hosted by Epic Church. 

“It’s a really awesome event. It’s so much fun, and we love working with the community,” Fitzgerald said.

Over at the face painting station, three-year-old Stefanie Galcious said she had a heart painted on her face because she loves the Easter Bunny.

“When I get my picture taken with him, he’ll see it and know it was for him,” she said.

Past the thick crowds of people, about a hundred moms, dads and jumping children waited in anticipation to get their picture taken with the world’s most famous rabbit. Luckily for these parents, two Easter Bunnies sat in the pavillion, to help speed up the time families would have to wait in line.

“We’ve only been waiting ten minutes,” said Patricia McDonnel. “With the warm weather, I knew it’d be busy here, and the line is going quickly.”

Lines in the balloon animal pit went even quicker. About ten volunteers twisted the air-filled rubber, making everything from princess hats to swords, cats and dogs.

“Who’s ready to race?” shouted a volunteer, who stood next to a plot of grass cornered off with cones to create a makeshift potato-sack race area. 

Eight kids yelled they were ready and darted off to grab a sack. As the volunteer shouted “GO!”, the kids took off, bouncing up-and-down while giggling for about 20 yards until reaching the finish line. 

Then came the highly-anticipated Easter egg hunt through Gorgas Park’s field.

“Woah! You got ten eggs,” Kristina Aweeky told her four-year-old son. “He loves chocolate, and this is plenty for the rest of the day,” she said.

This free event was so popular, volunteers held the hunts every 10 minutes for children between ages one and ten. They were placed in four different groups based on age.

“You had fun? You want to come here again next year?” Aweekly asked her son. He nodded his head and smiled with a mouth-full of chocolate. They’ll probably be back next year. 

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