ANNA MARIA – Hundreds of kids and their parents showed up for an Island tradition, the Sandbar restaurant’s annual Easter Egg Hunt.
This year, they started the hunt a few minutes late to accommodate those who got stuck in traffic or delayed leaving home because of the scattered rain in the area. Instead of rain, there was a gentle, cool wind as the kids searched for plastic eggs nestled in the sand.
This year, they had a smaller area roped off for kids three and under, and when the announcer said “Go,” the youngest hunters had to be urged by their parents to go after the eggs. The older kids needed no urging and soon, the beach was cleared of eggs and kids.
Soon after that, the crowd found the Easter Bunny, who took them down Pine Avenue to a roped-off side street. Kids rolled eggs down a course for prizes, got their faces painted, spent some time with coloring books, tossed eggs into baskets for prizes and more.
DJ Chuck Caudell played Easter music. His wife, Dara, took pictures of kids with the Easter Bunny. Two of them, Paisley and Teagan O’Hara, from New Jersey, found out about the celebration when they got here because they were told by their friends who rented them a home. The parents of Teddy and Elliott Thomas, of Connecticut, found out about it when they looked out the window of their rental unit above Olive Oil Outpost, where the pictures were being taken.
There was food for all in the form of egg and ham rolls, juice for the kids and mimosas for the adults and pastries from Hometown Desserts.
There was a drawing for a basket filled with goodies from Pine Avenue merchants. May Xo won.
Then came the judging for the Easter bonnet contest. There was a remarkable array of hats ranging from colorful to wild. One hat was really two hats stacked vertically. One youngster had a bonnet made from playing cards.
The adult winners were Ryan Holbrook, Nicolle Henry and Jeanie Murray and the children winners were Max Pupin, his brother, Ben, and an unidentified girl who got away before anybody could get her name.
The Anna Maria Island Sun is a sponsor of the Easter Egg Hunt, the Easter Egg Roll and the Easter Bonnet Contest.