Easter: mEGGa Egg Hunt still offering treats, but no hunt | News
A popular Columbia County’s Easter family event that has attracted thousands over the years is set to be a little different this year.
The traditional mEGGa egg hunt has drawn thousands of people to the Columbia County Fairgrounds in St. Helens each Easter season. The hunt will not take place this year, but children will continue to receive treats handed out by volunteers during a drive-through event on April 3rd.
Organizers said they changed the annual mEGGa egg hunt to closely follow health and safety requirements for COVID-19 pandemics. The event does not include the traditional hunt, where children can quickly scurry across the fields of the grassy fairground and collect plastic eggs filled with candy.
Instead, this year’s mEgga Egg event is scheduled as a 10 am to 1 pm drive through on Saturday April 3 at the Columbia County Fairgrounds at 58892 Saulser Road in St. Helens.
In the following conversation, Heather Epperly, President of the Board of Directors of mEGGa Egg Hunt, gives us an insight into the event.
The Chronicle: Give us the story of this event. Who started the original egg hunt, when, why and where?
Heather Epperly: Evelyn Hudson is the founder of the mEGGa Egg Hunt. The first hunt took place in 2000, making it our 20th event as there was no event last year due to the pandemic. It has always been held at the Columbia County Fairgrounds.
The Chronicle: In your opinion, why do you think it has become a popular family tradition?
Epperly: It’s a free family event that has grown with our community.
The Chronicle: Since this hunt is done as a drive through due to the pandemic, how will it work and what do drivers need to know?
Epperly: We decorated the path that the families will ride. We form two lines in front of the gate. Our fair board members will endeavor to obtain the necessary COVID tracing information from drivers. The drivers enter through the main gate at the pavilion and stop at the table by the pavilion to get their goodie bags. Families in their vehicles have the opportunity to wave to the costumed rabbit and our local fire department and walk out the gate.
The Chronicle: Briefly describe how the egg hunt was carried out in the past. We understand that the start and finish are pretty quick.
Epperly: The hunt always starts at 11am and ends very quickly, but most families come early and stay later to visit the petting zoo, makeup area, painting contest, robot team visit and other fun activities.
The Chronicle: We understand that the children receive bags of treats. How will they get the bags, who will distribute them and what will the bags contain?
Epperly: The bags are distributed near the pavilion when families pass through. Each bag is filled with Easter gifts.
The Chronicle: Of course, volunteers have to help for this event. How many volunteers, who are they and what will they do at the event?
Epperly: This year we will have a lot fewer volunteers than normal due to COVID. Volunteers helping this year include our board members, the committee, the exhibition committee, and some of our sponsors.
The Chronicle: Who are the sponsors of the event?
Epperly: Columbia County Fair, Senator Betsy Johnson, Guild, American Family Insurance, InRoads, Remax Power Pros, Dr. Auto, Grange, Cornerstone Café, Dyno Nobel, Wauna, Clatskanie River Inn, Xfinity, and Scappoose Business and Tax.
The Chronicle: Feel free to add any other comments you may have.
Epperly: I would add that we ask people to please be patient as this is an event that is always about who comes first and we try to make this fun for all children. We would also like to thank everyone who made this event possible. All of the hard work that changed our original event to find a way to continue this wonderful family activity.
For more information, call Columbia County Fairgrounds at 503-397-4231.