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Egg hunt Saturday, then make way for ducklings

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

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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."

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