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Free Easter weekend activies planned for children in Scappoose and St. Helens

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: NICOLE THILL - Children will be able to collect candy and take part in numerous activities at the St. Helens mEGGA egg hunt on March 31. Children will be able to search for special coins hidden in the candy that can be redeemed for special prizes as well. The Scappoose Egg Hunt is also Saturday, March 31, at 10 a.m. at the Grant Watts Elementary School playground. Children in Columbia County can enjoy hunting for candy and prizes and take part in various egg hunts and Easter-centered events next weekend.

Scappoose Egg Hunt

The Scappoose Kiwanis Club will host its annual egg hunt for children at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 31, at the Grant Watts Elementary School playground in Scappoose.

The egg hunt is open to children up to 12 years old.

The hunt kicks off with the blow of a horn and participating kids can find prizes and candy in hidden eggs.

mEGGA Egg Hunt

The annual volunteer-run mEGGA Egg Hunt, which features a wide variety of activities including a massive search for candy, will be held at the Columbia County Fairgrounds on Saturday, March 31, with events starting as early as 9:30 a.m.

Evelyn Hudson, one of the volunteers and original organizers, said the event is much more than just a hunt for candy and offers a variety of all-inclusive activities for children.

"All the rest of the time during the year when you go to the fairgrounds it costs money, and this is one event that's free for the kids, and that's why we want them to stay and enjoy it," Hudson said.

During the day, visitors can take photos with costumed characters like Snoopy, Big Bird and others that will roam the fairgrounds. Visitors can also enjoy a 4-H petting zoo, archery demonstrations, face-painting, horse rides, dog training demos, and take part in a plant-a-seed program. Some snacks will be for sale, while other treats like donated fruit will be handed out as well.

Prior to the event, volunteers toss 30,000 pieces of individually wrapped candy into a field for children to collect. Volunteers also mix in specialty coins that can be exchanged for specialty prizes. The hunt will kick off promptly at 11 a.m.

Organizers are also running a coloring contest for children in five different age groups ranging up to 12-years-old. All contest entries must be submitted

at the egg hunt between 9:30 and 1 p.m. in order to qualify.

This year, organizers have partnered with local businesses and agencies to pass out coloring sheets in advance. Coloring sheets are available at places like the Columbia County Fair office, the St. Helens Public Library, the Oregon State University Extension Office, and other participating restaurants, grocery stores and businesses. If children can't color them before hand, visitors can create a sheet at the event itself.

"It just seems to go with it," Hudson said of the coloring contest. "It's just a fun thing to do."

Hudson explained that two specially selected judges who are not volunteers with the egg hunt will select winners after the event and contact families of the winning children. Three children from each age group are selected to win a $25 gift card. Each year, the judges differ and will select their favorite creations based on their own criteria, Hudson explained.

Every year, organizers like Hudson work to coordinate with community sponsors and donors to provide candy, activities and other necessary items. Community members interested in donating items to the event can drop them off at several locations, including the Columbia County Fair office, Sunset Park Church, Sunshine Pizza, Village Inn Motel

6 and the St. Helens American Family Insurance office before Wednesday, March 28.

Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Hudson at 503-329-3967 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before Thursday, March 29.

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