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Kiwanis Club of Prineville will host its annual Easter egg hunt this weekend after having to cancel the event last spring

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - The Easter egg hunt will take place at the Crook County Fairgrounds, the same location as the 2019 hunt, shown above.

The Kiwanis Easter egg hunt is back in 2021.

Canceled in 2020 because of the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will once again take place at the Crook County Fairgrounds. Open registration for the hunt will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 3, with eggs up for grabs beginning at 11 a.m.

"It's fantastic," said Kiwanis President Ray Austin. "It feels like we are quasi-normal."

Some of the basics of the Easter egg hunt will go unchanged. Kids will be separated into four different age groups – under 3, 3-5, 6-8, 9-10 – and all participants will be entered in a free raffle with the chance to win a bike. A boy and girl in each age group will be awarded a bike, thanks to sponsors Lacey McBeth Madden and Sheryl Rhoden of Mann Mortgage.

"They are going to be down there to help us organize the kids and hand out (raffle) tickets," Austin remarked.

Participating kids and family members will be asked to wear masks during the hunt, but few other changes to the hunt are expected.

"We just need to follow whatever the current fairgrounds rules are at that point in time," Austin said, noting that each age group will have separate egg-hunting areas sectioned off with orange field fencing. "We have made sure there is plenty of room for everybody to spread out. We have lengthened the distance between each segment."

Kiwanis members pitched in to purchase 5,000 plastic Easter eggs that will be filled with an assortment of treats for kids. Those eggs will be distributed evenly between each age group hunt.

In addition to the Easter egg hunt, the Prineville Volunteer Fire Company announced the return of its pancake breakfast, which will take place in the nearby Grizzly Mountain Pavilion. The breakfast will take place before the Easter egg hunt from 9-10:30 a.m., offering all-you-can-eat pancakes and sausage as well as coffee and juice. Cost is $5 for most visitors and free for children 6 and younger.

Austin said that the Easter egg hunt came together quickly. The club recently received a call asking if it was going to host the event. That spurred some conversations and some quick action, and within 24 hours, everything was ready to go.

"Kiwanis is always about the youth and the kids," Austin said, "so anything we can do to help them have a good time and enjoy Easter, we want to participate in it."

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