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2021 mEGGa Egg Hunt looked different than past years, but still brought candy and smiles

PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - A family drives through the Columbia County Fairgrounds after picking up goodie bags at the 2021 mEGGa egg hunt.The 2021 mEGGa Egg Hunt at the Columbia County Fairgrounds looked far different than previous years, as families drove through the fairgrounds rather than running through the fields.

But one thing was the same: candy. Visitors picked up candy-filled goodie bags to celebrate Easter at the Saturday, April 3, event.

Organizer Betsy Stephens said the event had "great turnout," with about 1,400 goodie bags handed out.PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - The egg hunt was carried out with the assistance of dozens of volunteers, who directed traffic, handed out goodie bags and waved to visitors.

In past years, the egg hunt has had separate areas for different age groups to hunt for treat-filled plastic eggs. But this year, due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the egg hunt couldn't go forward in its standard shape. The event was canceled in 2020, early in the pandemic. Organizers were determined to put on an event this year, even if it couldn't look like the beloved event usually looks.PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - A volunteer hands goodie bags for kids and adults in a car toward the end of the event.

Still, volunteers spent long evenings in the week before the event filling up goodie bags full of candy.

Organizers said volunteers had stuffed 2,000 bags and didn't distribute all of them, but the road into the fairgrounds was still packed during much of the event.

PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Kids smile from the backseat after picking up their goodie bags.By the afternoon, cars were trickling in more slowly — but the volunteers dressed in rabbit suits were still energetically greeting attendees.

"Some were lined up at 9 a.m., our gates opened at 10 a.m. and we had cars very steady up to 12:30, thinning out until we closed at 1," Stephens said.PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Decked out in furry, sparkly bunny ears, kids pause for a photo.

About 150 prizes were awarded to random attendees.

Along with volunteers and sponsors, Stephens thanked the Columbia County Sheriff's Office and local firefighters who delighted kids with lights and horns during the drive-thru event.

"They were second only to the bunnies in smiles from kids," Stephens added.

Scott Keith contributed to this report.

PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Bunny-eared members of the Scappoose Fire District greeted visitors at the mEGGa egg hunt.PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Bunnies and humans greeted visitors at the drive-thru egg hunt on Saturday, April 3.

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