LIHUE — Seconds seemed like an eternity, but in the flash of an eye, it was over.
Times Supermarket and the Big Save stores set out 7,000 filled plastic Easter eggs for two Easter egg hunts Saturday — one in Lihue on the lawn of the historic County Building, and the other on the Westside at the Waimea Canyon Park.
“I’ve been doing this Easter egg hunt for 40 years,” said Gwen Batara, manager of the Times Supermarket at Kukui Grove Center. “I started when I was 10 years old, and back in the Big Save days, we steamed real eggs for the hunt. That was fun. Preparing 7,000 plastic eggs is also fun. But it’s all over after just a few minutes.”
Royden Yamamoto, the Times Supermarket district manager, said he was anticipating about 700 children at the two sites.
Jack Racelo, at eight months old, was celebrating his first Easter egg hunt. His attention was riveted not on the hundreds of colorful eggs strewn on the lawn, but on the bright red balloon which bobbed at the end of his basket.
“This is Savannah’s third time,” said Sean Doi. “The first year, we kind of came to check it out, and by the second year, we had this hunt down pat — we knew where to park, what to expect, and what to do. We’re old hands at this already.”
Racelo was joined by other first-timers like Gianna Sudaria, nine months old, who was content to just hold on to her one egg while her older brother and sister scoured through the basket to see what they collected.
Marycel Garcia of the Big Save store at the Ching Young Village in Hanalei said she’s been doing the Easter egg hunt for 15 years.
“When I was at the Kapaa Big Save, we would have the hunt at the All Saints Gym,” Garcia said. “We even had the Easter Bunny show up.”
Batara said the Easter egg hunt has been going on for 58 years through the sponsorship of the Kauai Kookie Company, Diamond Bakery, Meadow Gold and Frito Lay, which ensured all egg hunters and their parents were adequately rewarded with refreshments.
“I’m so glad Times Supermarket decided to keep this tradition started by the Big Save family,” Batara said.
With Easter falling on April 5, more Easter egg hunts are on tap.
Kukui Grove Center is “egg-cited” to host its Spring Celebration on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the food court area featuring the Easter Bunny. Other features include the Showtime Characters, Balloon Twisters, keiki crafts and goody bags while supplies last, a spring fashion show with Maile Taylor Talent and Modeling Agency, and a sneak preview of the Kauai Performing Art Center’s “Beauty and the Beast” live.
The Anahola Baptist Church hosts its hunt on Saturday from 1 until 2:30 p.m. And New Hope Kauai will host its hunt next Sunday at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall starting at 10 a.m.