January 23, 2022

Egg hunt a big hit in McGraw

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Justin Rowley, of McGraw, counts Easter eggs with his daughter Lily, 4, on Saturday during the McGraw Easter egg hunt at Bennett Street Field in the village.

Bright blues, greens, yellows and pinks nestled Saturday morning among the grass of Bennett Street Park. It looked like an image from a Dr. Seuss book, but it was in fact the annual Easter egg hunt.

More than 150 kids from 8 months old to 8 years old gathered by 10 a.m. to take to the field in a frenzy of screams and smiles, while attempting to collect as many Easter eggs as they could.

Eight-year-old Stella Christophersen of Cortland planned to get 100 eggs in her basket, she said. Stella, who was with her grandmother, Melissa Vell of McGraw, was taking part in her second egg hunt. Stella wasn’t picky about what she got in the eggs either. “I don’t know, just not jelly beans.”

After the hunt, Stella had collected around 50 eggs. In some of the eggs there was even money. “I got two bucks.”
And no jelly beans.

For more than 30 years, the McGraw Recreation Committee has hosted the egg hunt in the village, said Annette Huskins, the co-chairwoman for the recreation committee. More than 3,000 eggs had been stuffed with candy, money and tickets, which could be redeemed for special baskets filled with more candy and toys.

A jelly bean contest was added this year, Huskins said. Each kid guessed how many beans filled the jar and the closest won movie tickets to Plaza 6 Cinemas in Cortlandville. There were a total 647 jelly beans in the jar and Liliana Gleason, 5, of McGraw, won the tickets with a guess of 634 jelly beans. She plans to use the tickets to see the movie “Boss Baby.”

Among the 157 children present Saturday was 8-month-old Reed McConnell, his first time at the event, although he has two older siblings, said Kellie McConnell, his mother. “We do it every year, it’s not too crowded,” she said.

McConnell carried Reed out onto the field during the event where he picked out his very first egg. “We always come and will always come until they (the kids) tell me they don’t want to.”

The hunt featured three age groups; infants to kindergarten, first grade through third grade and fourth grade through sixth grade, Huskins said. Parents were allowed to assist children under the age of 4.

For three years, Justin Rowley has attended the event with his kids, Lily, 4 and Miley, 2. Rowley, who grew up in McGraw, said it’s about the fun. “It’s the quality of the experience over the quantity of the eggs.”

The event is always the day before Easter, rain or shine, Huskins said. “Everyone has spring fever and want to get out in the sunshine and visit with friends.”