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Hundreds of kids and parents sprinted, crawled or wheeled to the grounds of Muskie Park in Nevis Saturday. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

Thousands of eggs gone in minutes at area hunts

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news Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

In Nevis, 14,000 Easter eggs disappeared at the rate of about 7,000 per minute.

The great Easter egg hunt of 2012 was over in minutes.

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In Laporte, tiny tots crawled under school tables draped in blankets in their Easter finery, searching for magic golden eggs.

Those were worth a prize.

In Park Rapids, Evergreen Church sponsored an Easter egg hunt Saturday morning at Heartland Park.

The event, which started a few years ago at Evergreen, had been growing each year so organizers Bill and April Hodge decided to move the event to Heartland Park. April said about 250 kids showed up for the Saturday hunt.

"We weren't quite sure what to expect" as far as numbers, she said. "Especially with the weather being cool."

Eggs were spread out across the park in three sections for the youngest, middle and oldest kids. A drawing was held for bicycles as well.

Easter egg hunts took place in- and outdoors.

Draden Puchalla was wearing his cranky pants in Nevis. You couldn't blame him. The 18-month-old was standing in the cold, with a cold, staring at tempting eggs he has to wait what seemed like a lifetime to run after.

The Nevis baby was a veteran egg hunter, having come in 2011 in his stroller. But Saturday he wasn't too excited about the conditions and let his dad know.

Laporte head bunny Paula Doughty said Laporte divides the kids into five age groups. Organizers sent them to various areas of difficulty on their hunts. The local Lions club stuffs the plastic eggs with candy.

"They like a challenge," she laughed of the treasure seekers. She said she's heard from insulted 2-year olds that thought the eggs were too easy to find.

Jaelynn Schmidt was all dolled up in pink with a pink basket and ruby shoes covered in glitter, (except where she'd scraped the toes.)

The 18-month-old got into the hang of the hunt when her grandmother took her by the arm to begin the chase.

One-year-old Radnor Kaufmann, up from Minneapolis visiting gramma for Easter, had to take his pacifier out of his mouth to start his hunt. He needed to concentrate. He was wearing a "tough guy" T-shirt.

Kids are encouraged in Laporte to recycle the plastic eggs for next year, trading them in for candy.

In Nevis, similar recycling programs, on a much larger scale, were in effect.

Brian and Sara Halik, owners of Northwind Grocery in Nevis, donate the eggs and have employees stuff them with goodies throughout the spring when they have a spare moment. The Easter bunny needs all the help he can get.

"Every now and then a kid just wants an egg," Doughty said.

"They can take an egg home if they want to," said Nevis mayor Paul Schroeder, who used his athletic prowess to scramble out of the way as hundreds of egg-seekers thronged his way.

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