Montclair’s 2016 Easter Egg hunt was hopping with fun!
The Montclair Easter Egg Hunt at Watchung Plaza Park, now into its second quarter century, went off just after 11:15 a.m. on Saturday, March 26. Approximately 300 people and one very large bunny turned out for the annual event hosted by Dr. Janyne Mizraji, co-owner of Family Chiropractors of Montclair.
Traditionally, the hunt – which is geared towards the youngest members in the community – starts at 11 a.m. sharp and lasts all of three minutes long. The bunny’s arrival, along with the Montclair fire truck with lights and sirens wailing, is the anticipated signal that the hunt can begin.
A special area for the three and under age group is always separated off from the older kids. Dr. Mizraji relied on volunteers from the Montclair Key Club to cordon off the park early on Saturday morning and distribute the 1,800 eggs. The volunteers stand guard over their clutch all morning until the hunt begins. Once the hunt begins, select volunteers known as Egg Ambassadors with large baskets of eggs take to the field in search of the empty handed and distraught young hunters so as to save the day. This is one of the most rewarding of volunteer tasks by any measure.
This year, the fire truck and bunny were 17 minutes late. The assembled parents did all they could to restrain the small army of jumping and giggling hunters who had been waiting patiently – and on their collective best behaviors – in clear view of 1,800 goody-filled colorful eggs splayed out in front of them. More than a few times a young hunter could wait no longer and bolted from behind the perimeter tape out into the field of eggs only to be promptly retrieved by an older loved one, much to the amusement of the other adults. That scene was repeated a dozen times or more and became the distracting amusement for the crowd while they waited for the official signal from Dr. Mizraji, with the bullhorn in hand.
At 11:15 a.m. with no sign of the bunny nor the fire department, the assembled army of hunters could wait no longer and a mass broke through the parameter tape and took the field in a frenzy of egg collecting free from their minders. Collectively, the adults all seemed amused they had lost control and set out on a hunt of their own, to find their charge amongst the horde. Some of the egg hunters were searching for what seemed to be a particular color of egg, by-passing others while some took the time to rattle each selection for the tell-tale sign of a goody inside. The older veterans knew the time was not for selection but for gathering, and into their empty baskets went as many as they could reach. The youngest were simply too young to even walk and sat taking the spectacle in under the watchful eye of their minders.
The honor of being the 2016 Bunny went to none other than Kevin Henning, driven by Keith Henning in a white VW convertible followed by the Montclair Fire Department truck and the Montclair Police Department.
Dr. Mizraji also “thanks her world class staff for helping to assemble and fill 1,800 eggs and The Montclair Key Club volunteers and the all important 2016 Egg Ambassadors.”
The 2017 Montclair Township Watchung Plaza Easter Egg hunt will start at 11 a.m. sharp the Saturday before Easter, so be sure to mark your calendars now!
To view more photos of the Easter Egg Hung 2016 by Scott Kennedy, please go to montclairdispatch.smugmug.com..