Early birds get the eggs

LIHU’E — The Hawaiian-time clock did not work on Saturday.

“When we got here, it was one minute after 9, and the hunt was over,” a disappointed family member lamented on the lawn of the historic County Building on Rice Street in Lihu’e.

“The paper said the Easter egg hunt would start at 9, but it’s all over. It’s only two minutes after 9.”

Big Save Inc. prepared 10,000 eggs for its annual Big Save Easter Egg Hunt that was held in two locations Saturday: one in Lihu’e and the other at the Waimea Canyon Park.

At the lawn of the historic County Building, eager hunters started lining the taped boundaries more than half an hour before the designated start time.

The breezy trades did not help the situation, as occasional pops from bursting balloons punctuated the morning quiet.

As the countdown progressed, it was one of these pops that prompted the surge of hunters to get past the tape.

“Once they start, you can’t stop ’em,” Calvin Sakai of Big Save said as he kept an eye on the surge that wiped out their designated age-group area in less than a minute.

Egg hunters sought out those “special” eggs that were planted within each of three age-group sites.

“We got some plastic eggs with just candy in them,” Sakai said. In prior hunts, egg hunters would only seek out the plastic eggs in hopes of getting the special prizes.

Following the surge for eggs, hunters and their parents were treated to free balloons, drinks, chips and cookies.

Over at Kukui Grove Center, the normal egg hunt was replaced with an Easter Keiki Fun Day coordinated by the mall, the Key Club of Kaua’i High School, and the Interact Club of Kapa’a High School.

Community-agency volunteers from organizations such as the American Heart Association, the YWCA, and Esprit de Corps Riding Academy were on hand to offer activities while providing awareness about their respective programs.

The youth organizations were involved in more interactive programs such as the creation of Easter baskets, the hula-hoop competition, the jumping contest, egg toss and more.

Youngsters had a chance to sign up for the special gift baskets that were presented during the mall’s normal Aloha Friday on the Mall program of live entertainment sponsored by Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative.

Their baskets full, hunters sought out other sites where they could add to their collection.

Those included Kaua’i Community College where the Associated Students of the University of Hawai’i Kaua’i Chapter were hosting the fifth Easter Festival on the lawn area behind the KCC Performing Arts Center.

Others simply collected their prizes and went their way to figure out the different ways of preparing hard-boiled eggs.

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