The Easter Bunny and the Lions Club Lion will be on hand to meet children at the egg hunt in Wadleigh Park in Vale on Saturday, April 16. (Submitted photo)

After a couple of challenging years, the Vale Lions are gearing up again for the big hunt – the Lions Easter Egg Hunt, that is.

Children attending the event this Saturday, April 16, will find the grass at Wadleigh Park salted with candies and plastic eggs stuffed with chocolates, coupons and other goodies. There also will be stuffed bunnies and other Easter toys awaiting the youngest hunters.

Adding to the festivities, the Lions Club Lion and the Easter Bunny will be on hand to greet the children and pose for photos, said John Perry, club secretary and chair of this year’s hunt.

The hunt begins at 1 p.m. for all ages.

Perry said the 0-2 age group will collect their treats and toys on the lawn in front of the city swimming pool, while kids age 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12 will have their separate hunting grounds cordoned off in the park.

“We usually have a couple hundred kids,” he said.

The past two years tempered the turnout, with a pandemic cancellation in 2020 and a drive-thru event in 2021.

Perry said the club is looking forward to a return to a traditional outdoor hunt, and he hopes another event that day – the Spring Fling in downtown Vale – will be an additional attraction for people to stay in or come to town.

Mal’s Diner owner Malinda Castleberry is organizing the Spring Fling, which will feature live music, food, vendors and more on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Lions members are busy stuffing plastic eggs and sorting the goodies for the hunt.

They remind parents to bring baskets or bags for their children to use in the hunt. Perry also noted there will be bins set out so parents can recycle the plastic eggs – taking home the treats but leaving the egg-shaped containers for reuse in future hunts.

Perry said this year’s hunt has had help from many community volunteers, including Sarah Rodriguez of Luzetta’s Flowers and Cathy Zacharias, of Exzacht Sewing and the Vale Chamber.

City Hall also has been taking donations for the hunt, and provides help for the event, he said.

Perry noted the club’s mission is to serve the community, and they couldn’t do it without all the people who support their efforts.

“The Easter Egg Hunt is a perfect example,” he said. “The donations the club receives from local business and individuals is tremendous and greatly appreciated.”

For more information about donating or helping, contact Perry at 541-473-4287.

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