Columbia County children have plenty of opportunities to search for goodies left by the Easter Bunny, as several area churches and community groups organize Easter egg hunts.
The first of several traditional Easter-egg hunts will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. today, March 27, at The Sanctuary Church, 4584 Cox Road in Evans.
The free event will include games and inflatables.
For children with food allergies or otherwise restricted diets can still enjoy the thrill of the hunt Saturday, March 30, at the second annual Food-Free Spring Event, organized by members of Augusta Food Allergy and the CSRA EOS Support Group.
“They (food-allergic children and their parents) are afraid to go somewhere where food is involved because they might get a reaction,” said Sheena Whitlock, president Augusta Food Allergy founder. “This will be more controlled and lots of fun for them. ... They feel just like other kids where they are not left out.”
Festivities including crafts and inflatables begin at 1 p.m. at the Villages of Rivershyre Clubhouse at 1189 Oakton Trail in Evans. The Easter egg hunt starts at 3 p.m.
Parents are asked to bring a dozen toy- or sticker-filled plastic eggs for each child participating in the hunt.
“Those food-allergic kids do get left out of those food-focused events,” Dr. Gena Bonitatibus, medical director for Augusta Food Allergy. “For most Easter egg hunts, candy can be potentially hazardous.
“This is a good way to let them have their fun with it.”
Preregistration is recommended by visiting www.augustafoodallergy.org.
Members of Abilene Baptist Church are preparing for it to rain Easter eggs Saturday at the 2013 Great Easter Egg Drop, as thousands of candy-filled eggs are dropped from a low-flying helicopter onto the Columbia County Fairgrounds at noon.
“We’re getting so excited about it,” said Ginger Custer, director of Children’s Ministry and an event organizer. “This will be a fun thing, a nice family event. We’re trying to reach out to those families who have children who are not churched.”
The gates open at 10 a.m. for a variety of activities including inflatables, crafts, face-painting, live music from the Egg Drop Band and free hotdogs, drink, chips, cotton candy and popcorn for children. There also will be prize drawings and Bible story time focusing on the life of the apostle Paul. Refreshments also will be for sale for adults.
Children will get to hunt for about 15,000 Easter eggs on fields divided by age groups.
Custer recommends online preregistration to “avoid long lines” at the event. Registration ends at midnight today at www.myabilene.org.