Miss-Lou egg hunt set for Saturday

Published 12:01 am Friday, March 21, 2008

NATCHEZ — Bob Ewing has Easter eggs in his blood — and he wants to share them.

Since 1994, Ewing has been coordinating the Miss-Lou Easter Egg Hunt.

In 1994 Ewing took over responsibility for the egg hunt from his sister.

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Before that, his sister inherited the job from her father who began work on the event when it originated 42 years ago.

“It’s a tremendous amount of work,” he said. “But when you see all those kids it’s worth it.”

Ewing said he normally begins preparation for the event about four months before.

But all those months of work are gone in about five minutes.

This year Ewing and his helpers will be putting out 15,000 eggs. When the whistle blows, the children blitz the eggs in a mad dash for candy, cash and prizes.

On Thursday, Ewing spent the day crisscrossing the Miss-Lou collecting all matter of donations for the hunt.

“That’s what makes it work,” he said.

Ewing said for the last 42 years, donations from citizens and the local business community have made the enormous egg hunt possible.

Ewing said the hunt attracted 700 youngsters last year.

As the children make a mad dash across the egg-filled field, they all collect as many eggs as they can. Ewing said every egg has some type of prize.

“It might be candy or a quarter or a number,” he said.

At the Miss-Lou egg hunt, the numbers are considered the best prizes. Each of the numbers corresponds to a special prize. Ewing said bikes, stuffed animals and baskets of candy are all up for grabs at this year’s event.

Barbra Ogden, clerk of special programs for the Natchez Department of Recreation, has been working with the egg hunt since 1985.

“It’s so much fun to watch those kids,” she said. “It’s wonderful.”

Ogden said it normally takes a handful of volunteers approximately one hour to set the eggs out.

This year’s egg hunt will be at Duncan Park at 10 a.m Saturday. The event is free and open to children from 1 to 10 years old.

“I sometimes call it the eighth wonder of the world,” Ewing said.