Duncan Park egg hunt goes by in a flash of color

Published 12:21 am Sunday, April 4, 2010

NATCHEZ — It doesn’t take long for 10,000 specks of color to disappear from the swath of green grass at Duncan Park on the day before Easter.

With a single word from Miss-Lou Easter Egg Hunt organizer Bobby Ewing — “Go!” — hundreds of children between the ages of 1 and 8 swarmed the field to collect the eggs.

In only a matter of minutes the entire thing was over.

Jahiem Ivory, 8, walked away from the hunt with a basket full of eggs.

“It was fun,” he said. “I had to put two eggs in my pockets.”

While other children accepted candy treats and took pictures with Jelly Bean, the 6-foot-tall Easter bunny, Eniah Chatman, 5, was just happy to have gotten to participate.

“I liked the running,” she said.

And while her favorite Easter eggs were pink and purple, Chatman said she didn’t discriminate during the hunt.

“I tried to grab them all up,” she said.

Eniah’s mother, Sharon Chatman, said she thought the hunt was a nice thing for the children.

“This was my first time out here (to the hunt), and I loved it,” she said.

This was the 52nd time the hunt has been put on. It was originally founded for the children at the Natchez Children’s Home, but through the years it grew in popularity and was opened to all local children.

Some of the eggs were stuffed with candy, some money and some had tickets to claim prizes.

The prizes, which were donated by local businesses, included toy racecar tracks, bicycles, and cases of soda, among others.

And the hope of prizes had Christian Hauer, 8, quickly shelling the eggs in his basket post-hunt.

A three-hunt veteran, he knew what he wanted.

“I got some candy, but this year I didn’t do good,” he said. “You do good when you get one of the prizes.”

But he still had a few eggs to open, and Hauer turned back to his basket and started opening them, saying, “You never give up hope.”

The egg hunt has been a local tradition for 52 years. Ewing took over organization of the hunt in 1992.