Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Egg Hunt, Bethel Style

An Easter egg hunt in the sub-arctic would just have to be different from those in the lower 48, and Bethel’s certainly is. For one thing, we are still pretty much in the grip of winter. Despite the lovely long hours of daylight, with sunset about 9 pm right now, the thermometer is still hovering around zero and there are feet of snow on the ground. In a land with virtually no trees, and no clumps of grass yet to be seen, where can eggs be hidden?

The answer: nowhere. The eggs are not hidden, they are simply scattered across the snow. Bethel’s Easter egg hunt does not involve hunting, simply picking them up.

It is a huge event, attended by kids of all ages. They are divided into age groups with a different “egg field” for each group. Hundreds of colorful plastic eggs dot the snow as kids wait behind the starting rope dressed in snowsuits and holding everything from baskets to plastic bags in which to gather their eggs. When the rope is dropped they surge forward in a melee of snatching hands and within seconds there is not an egg to be seen.

The Egg Hunt is held at the headquarters of Bethel’s Parks and Recreation Dept., a building known as The Log Cabin. It has playgrounds, an outdoor basketball court, a baseball field and an ice skating pond adjacent to it. Inside the Log Cabin, prizes were being given away to kids who participated—a bumper crop of hula hoops was evident—and free hot dogs were available to all who wanted them.

The whole thing was over fairly quickly, and the huge parking jam it created on the street didn’t seem to bother anyone. Kids leaving looked mostly happy and the adults were just glad we had a nice sunny day for it. Some years the event happens in a snow storm. It’s all part of Life in Bethel.

photos by Dutch and The Tundra PA.



Blogger Karen Travels said...

I love your sharing of life up there. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Sunday, March 23, 2008 1:46:00 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Kudos to the organizers. What a nice community event.

Monday, March 24, 2008 4:47:00 AM  

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