KAPA‘A — The overnight rain, the cold wind and even a brief tsunami alert could not dampen the spirit at the Kapa‘a Beach Park Sunday.
Hundreds of youngsters got a headstart on Easter festivities at the Aunty Aloha’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt and Family Fun Day — a free community event sponsored by the Garden Angels of Kaua‘i.
“We’ve been doing this for eight years,” said Pete Gallardo, one of the leaders of the Garden Angels. “We started out at Wally World, moved to the (Wailua) Houselots, Lydgate Park and finally, we’re here.”
Gallardo was concerned when reports of a tsunami alert filtered through the crowded beach park shortly after the event got under way. But he breathed a sigh of relief and set out to “hide” eggs when the advisory was cancelled.
“I thought we were going to have to cut it real short,” Gallardo said. “But now that it’s cancelled, everyone is going to have fun.”
Despite the students and parents of the Garden Angels preparing more than a thousand plastic eggs filled with treats, egg hunters swooped through the roped-off area and made short work of the labor of love.
“We got a late start because it rained so much last night,” said Kaiulani Huff, the emcee.
In addition to the egg hunt which was scheduled to take place several times during the day-long event, youngsters were able to take advantage of bouncers and water features set up along one perimeter of the park.
Fun and K’wazy, who will also be at the WalkAmerica event this Saturday, brought out their arsenal of rides including the Trampoline Thing so youngsters could work off some of the sugar rush from goodies inside the plastic eggs.
Parents waited in line for the all-you-can-ride feature for a nominal $5 donation that earned a bright blue wristband for the youngsters.
Throughout the day, more fun contests and activities filled the agenda. Coloring contests, hula hoop contests, a sack race, and more family-oriented activities brought the park to life with the sound of happy keiki.
“This year, we’re going to have a new Aunty Aloha,” Gallardo said. “This is dedicated to Emma Hoikaika from Anahola who has her family out to help with everything going on.”
Gallardo said they created a special plaque which will be given to Hoikaika to celebrate the occasion.
Elsewhere, King’s Chapel hosted the first of three “Hawai‘i’s Biggest Easter Egg Hunt” Saturday at the North Vidinha soccer fields.
For those who missed the weekend festivities, more hunts are on the calendar before Easter Sunday.
King’s Chapel opens the weekend with its second hunt Friday at the Waioli Soccer Field in Hanalei starting at 11 a.m.
Big Save Inc. will be hosting two hunts Saturday morning.
One will be on the lawn of the historic County Building and the other will be held at the Waimea Canyon Park. Both sites will start at 9 a.m. promptly.
The last of the King’s Chapel hunts will take place Saturday at the Hanapepe football stadium starting at 11 a.m.
One final word of advice to novice egg hunters — don’t be late!