Unique and traditional Easter Egg hunts on tap this weekend

New Albany's Spring Fest on April 19 will feature some 20,000 eggs, but not all of them will be on the ground when children arrive at the New Albany High School football field.

"Around 11 a.m. we'll have the helicopter come and drop some eggs. After it safely lands, then we'll let the kids go out," said event organizer Brian Minier.

Minier said the event, organized by the New Albany Community Events board, took the helicopter idea from a central Ohio church that has done an egg drop for a couple of years.

He said the helicopter will fly low so the children can see it and it will drop a few bags' worth of eggs.

Spring Fest will begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 19, at the New Albany High School football field, 7600 Fodor Road.

Minier said students will be divided into three age groups: preschool and kindergartners; first- to third-graders; and fourth- to sixth-graders.

This year's event will include a petting zoo and animal exhibits from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Minier said.

"We are very excited about this year's Springfest in New Albany. We are going over the top with a helicopter dropping the eggs and the Columbus zoo bringing animals," said events board president Rob Yanok. "We love our community and want to serve it and give them the best event in central Ohio."

Other popular features from last year include: four bounce houses, train rides, Chulo the clown, New Albany police officer Joe Duff riding his horse and face painting.

Free coffee and pastries will be provided.

"It will be an event that is fun for the kids and a good family event," Minier said. "We had a good crowd last year and we think the helicopter will draw some more this year."

Spring Fest usually concludes by 1:30 p.m. and will take place rain or shine.

Minier said parking is available in the high school lot and at the Church of the Resurrection on the west side of Fodor Road.

-Lori Wince

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Easter scramble, Duckling Day Parade mark start of spring in Clintonville

Clintonville children have been on annual hunts for brightly colored, candy-filled plastic eggs since the 1940s.

At 10 a.m. Saturday, April 19, the search will begin again as kids scramble for 6,000 eggs hidden by members of the Kiwanis Club of Northern Columbus and the Whetstone Community Center in the lower meadow at Whetstone Park, 3923 N. High St.

This year, for the first time, the Kiwanis Club asked local businesses to prepare the eggs instead of outsourcing the process to a business in Minnesota.

The candy was purchased through Moxie's Gifts, Candy and Party Room in Clintonville and the eggs were assembled by the Alpha Group of Delaware County Inc.

"We're happy that we were able to keep things local this year and work with a group that provides work for developmentally disabled adults," said Randy Ketcham of the Kiwanis Club of Northern Columbus.

Ketcham said the agreement worked out so well that group members may assemble more eggs for other local egg hunts next year.

"We are spending the same amount of money as we did last year, but it's a much better setup for us," he said.

Children who attend the egg hunt will be divided by age: 0-2, 3-4, 5-6 and 7-9. Each group's eggs will be filled with age-appropriate candy, and the hunts will take place in separate locations.

There will be five eggs for each age group that qualify the finders for special prizes. The Easter bunny will pose for photos with children after the hunt.

Ketcham said children need to arrive promptly at 10 a.m. because the eggs usually are all snapped up within five minutes.

"We will have extra eggs for children who aren't as aggressive and for children who may show up late -- that way, no one goes home without an egg," he said.

The Clintonville Rotary Club, meanwhile, is planning another popular spring activity for the following weekend.

The 28th annual Duckling Day Parade will be held at 10:30 a.m. April 26 at the Whetstone branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, 3909 N. High St.

The event is based on the 1941 book Make Way for Ducklings by Ohio author Robert McCloskey. It's the story of a mother duck who leaves her ducklings to look for a new home.

Four duck characters -- Mrs. Mallard, Little Quack, Baby Waddle and Sir-Quacks-a-Lot -- will attend. The ducks will march around the park and children are encouraged to dress up and join the parade.

"The children love to dress as ducks and quack loudly. It is thrilling for them to get to be in a parade line," said Sam Pathy, youth services manager at the library.

Duck packets that include costume accessories will be available at the library until April 25.

Children who do not make it to the library before the event can pick up a duck mask the day of the parade at the library.

Pathy said the event celebrates warm weather, community and reading. The annual event attracts around 1,000 people, half of them children.

After the parade, children can partake in "quack-tastic crafts," watch a puppet show and see live ducks from a local farm.

"It's one hour of simple fun on a Saturday morning that's unique," Pathy said. "It's a 28-year-old tradition."

-Kevin Parks

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Other egg hunts in central Ohio this weekend

Upper Arlington's Annual Easter Candy Hunt, 10 a.m. April 19, at 10 a.m. at Thompson Park for children ages nine years and under, with a separate search area for children with special needs. Families are advised to arrive early to allow time for parking and finding the appropriate age-group search areas, located in the fields surrounding the North Shelter. The Easter Candy Hunt is made possible through a partnership of the Upper Arlington Civic Association and the city's Parks & Recreation Department. In the event of bad weather or poor field conditions, candy is passed out in a drive-through in the parking lot. For more information, call 614-583-5300 or go to uaoh.net.

City of Delaware Easter egg hunt, 8,000 candy-filled eggs will be up for grabs on the grounds of the Delaware Community Center YMCA. The city and the YMCA will host the event at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 19, at the Community Center YMCA, 1121 S. Houk Road. The hunt will be held in the future Veterans Memorial Park, adjacent to the YMCA building. Children ages 2-9 can take part in the event, which will divide participants into multiple age groups. Parents are asked to bring baskets for their children. A small number of gold eggs hidden by volunteers can be redeemed for prizes. After the hunt is over, families can stay for activities such as photos with the Easter bunny and face-painting inside the YMCA building.

Sunbury Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8736 egg hunt, 1 p.m. Saturday, Big Walnut High School football stadium. Registration begins at 11 a.m.

The National Barber Museum & Hall of Fame in Canal Winchester will host the annual Easter Egg Hunt at 10 a.m. April 19 in downtown Canal Winchester at Stradley Place, 36 S. High St. Children up to age 12 are eligible to participate and will be separated into three categories: 4 and under, 5-9 and 10-12. Prizes will be awarded in each age category for the most eggs collected. For more information or to sponsor this event, contact the National Barber Museum at 614-837-8400. Sponsorship requests will be accepted through April 11.

Crossroads Church will hold its Mega Egg Hunt with 25,000 eggs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 19, at Canal Winchester High School, 300 Washington St. In addition to egg hunting, the event will feature face painting, food, music and more. For information about the event, contact Michelle Gehrt, director of Outreach for Crossroads Church at michelle.gehrt@crossroads.tv or 614-837-9800. More information about Crossroads Church is available at crossroads.tv.

Village of Galena, Easter Egg Hunt, 1 p.m. April 19, at Ruffner Park. The event is held rain or shine. For more information, call 740-965-2484.

Reformation Lutheran Church, annual Easter Egg Hunt, for ages 0-12, at 1 p.m. April 19 at 1355 S. Hamilton Road. If weather is good, arrive 10 to 15 minutes early to be entered into prize basket drawing. If weather is bad, there will be a drive-through until candy is gone. For more information, call 614-235-4995.

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny is scheduled from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, April 19, at the Reynoldsburg Senior Center, 1520 Davidson Drive. The cost is $5 per person for residents and $7 for non-residents; the breakfast is for all ages, she said. Besides breakfast, children may get their photo taken with the Easter Bunny and also participate in a variety of Easter crafts.
Registration can be done online at the Blue Sombrero link on the city's website at ci.reynoldsburg.oh.us or by calling the Parks and Recreation office at 614-322-6806.

Reynoldsburg Easter Egg Hunt for children ages 10 and younger will begin promptly at 11:30 a.m. April 19 at Huber Park, 1520 Davidson Drive.
"Kids need to arrive early for the egg hunt, because it will literally be over at 11:31 a.m.," Brennan said. "It will go that quickly."
Children must bring their own bags or baskets to gather eggs, she said.

Reynoldsburg Church of the Nazarene has planned an Easter breakfast and egg hunt from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, April 19, at 1340 Crest St. Call the church office at 614-578-8245 for details.

Eggsplosion, sponsored by Grace Fellowship Church will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 18 at Pickerington High School North, 7800 Refugee Road. Grace Fellowship officials label it as the one of the "biggest impact events" of the year for the church. It will be the seventh year Grace Fellowship has held the event, which is geared to fourth-graders and those younger. The event features free face-painting, inflatable amusements, food and games and, of course, the ever popular egg drop from a hovering helicopter. At 6:15 p.m. candy eggs will drop from the sky for children in kindergarten and those younger; 6:45 p.m. for children in grades 1-4. This year there are two egg drops and a larger footprint. She said the event is weather permitting and encourages residents to check the website for updates.