Youngsters get the jump on the Easter Bunny

KAPA’A — Pete Gallardo of the Garden Angels had his hands full Sunday at the Kapa’a Beach Park.

With sunshine and blue skies, hundreds of youngsters and their parents turned out for the 8th annual Aunty Aloha Family Fun Day.

The Easter egg hunt was the big attraction, and Gallardo guarded the cartons containing 10,000 plastic eggs filled with surprises.

Hostess Kaiulani Huff said this was a day when the youngsters get to tell their parents how things are done.

As kumu hula Leilani Rivera Bond wound down her performance, Gallardo’s volunteer corps of parents and Garden Angels martial-arts students began the task of unpacking the cache of eggs in preparation for the big hunt.

Colorful plastic eggs dotted the lawn area, giving youngsters the cue that it was time to start making their way to the hunt area.

“There’s one golden egg,” Huff instructed the hunters. “Inside, there is a folded $2 bill. If you bring that to me, you’ll get a special prize.”

Gallardo said the day-long event was made possible through the generosity of officials at Big Kmart and Wal-Mart, as well as members of some other groups who offered to monitor the activity at the array of jumpers and water features that lined the street-side (Kuhio Highway) fence of the park.

The sunshine and blue skies attracted youngsters to the water features, while others engaged in horseback rides.

When it was time for a break from the sun, a coloring contest occupied members of many families under the shade of a canopy.

Still others could browse through a variety of logo-wear for the Garden Angels, and snacks also helped pass the time while attendees enjoyed the entertainment.

Originally, Gallardo said the event was scheduled for Lydgate Park, but because of the sewage spill from the last heavy rains, the event was relocated to the Kapa’a Beach Park.

The Garden Angels is a nonprofit organization whose instructors teach the youth of Kaua’i self-awareness, respect for other members of the community, and self-discipline through the fundamentals of martial arts.

For those who missed this weekend’s series of Easter egg hunts, more are on tap for this weekend, including the annual Big Save Easter egg hunt that takes place on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. at both the lawn of the historic County Building in Lihu’e, and the Waimea Canyon Park.

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