Shelby Township,UticaMarch 18, 2013
Shelby Township, Utica Easter events kick off spring festivities
By Brad D. Bates
C & G Staff Writer
Kids in the 3- to 4-year-old group line up before collecting eggs during the 2012 Utica egg scramble at Grant Park.
While a groundhog predicts the end of winter, nothing says spring like a rabbit with a basket of eggs.
Shelby Township Parks and Recreation will host its Easter Egg Scramble at 1 p.m. for kids ages 3-5 and at 2 p.m. for ages 6-10 March 23 at River Bends Park, and Utica will have its egg hunt at 11 a.m. March 23 at Grant Park.
Utica Mayor Jacqueline Noonan saluted the children’s enthusiasm for the annual event.
“The fact that, within two and a half minutes, all the eggs are gone,” Noonan said of her favorite part of Utica’s yearly hunt. “It’s fantastic to see all the little ones there with their parents and grandparents.”
Before they go searching for his hidden treasures, youngsters get a chance to have lunch with the Easter Bunny at 11 a.m. March 23 at the Shelby Community Center at 51670 Van Dyke Ave.
Tickets for the lunch are $7 for residents from Shelby Township and Utica, and $12 for non-residents; tickets include a pizza lunch and live entertainment. They need to be preordered by calling the Parks and Recreation Department at (586) 731-0300.
Both the Easter egg hunt at River Bends Park and the one at Grant Park are free events.
“At promptly 2 p.m., we will blow the horn and the kids will take off and get as many eggs as they can,” Shelby Township Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Director Joe Youngblood said of the egg scramble at River Bends Park.
“It’s a nice, free event for our residents of Shelby Township, and this is the first sign of spring with our Easter egg scramble.”
Another Easter egg hunt will take place March 24 at the Burgess Shadbush Nature Center at 4101 River Bends Drive in Shelby Township.
The hunt is part of the “Egg-Citing” program that runs from 1-4 p.m. and costs $4 for children 3 and older.
Along with the hunt, kids will learn different ways to dye eggs — each participant is asked to bring six hard-boiled eggs — and have a visit from the Easter Bunny.
With those traditional activities, the nature center will also provide a discussion of the Easter Bunny legend, an Easter craft, games and a piñata.
To register for the “Egg-Citing” festivities, contact the Parks and Recreation Department at (586) 731-0300 or purchase tickets at the nature center. For more information, contact the nature center at (586) 323-2478.