WAKARUSA — The wind bit crisp as families gathered around barrier tape, waiting to unleash children onto small patches of grass ripe with plastic Easter eggs Saturday morning.
For the first time since 2019, children plucked eggs and filled their buckets, baskets and bags on the grounds of the Wakarusa Historical Society, 403 E. Wabash Ave., for the annual Easter egg hunt.
The society’s president, Todd Scheets, estimated about 80–90 people showed up for the event. Last year’s hunt was canceled while the COVID-19 pandemic was in its early stages locally. This year, Scheets said he was happy to be able to bring it back.
“It was kind of nice to get everybody to come out. It’s been awful the last year with everything, all of the restrictions, and being cooped up,” Scheets said.
The event was held as numbers of local COVID infections remain relatively low, vaccinations continue, and as Gov. Eric Holcomb plans to lift the state’s mask mandate this week.
Very few people wore face masks during the Easter egg hunt. Before it started, families waited along small fields, each loaded with colorful eggs, that were taped off and divided among age groups. One-by-one they went down the line, letting children from each group wander the grassy patches to scoop treat-filled plastic eggs into their containers.
Avery Sommers, 6, loaded up a bag as her family looked on in the 5–6 year old field. After it was all over, Justin and Hailey Sommers said they were happy to be able to get outside with their children again.
“I hate wearing a mask. But you gotta do what you gotta do. But, it’s nice that we can be out here and not have to worry about the regulations and stuff like that as much, especially with the kids,” Justin Sommers said.
After Kamrie Fox, 4, filled her pink flamingo bucket, Haley Roe, Nappanee, said she was also relieved at the opportunity for her family to return to some normalcy.
“It’s nice to be with family and to get back to activities that we would always do,” Roe said.
The Easter egg hunt was sponsored by the Wakarusa Chamber of Commerce.