Eugene Civic Alliance Hosts Egg Hunt and Easter Bunny During COVID Safe Celebrations

Community members ventured out on Sunday morning to celebrate Civic Park’s first annual Easter Egg Stravaganza, a welcoming sight of spring and Lane County’s low-risk level for COVID-19.

The Eugene Civic Alliance and its community partners saw some 200 children aged 3 to 12 chase eggs and meet the Easter Bunny and the sluggo, the Eugene Emeralds mascot. Each family followed a five-station course that included traditional egg hunts, obstacles and sports.

“I’m surprised we can be here due to the pandemic, but we are really excited to be in public with our family and friends to experience a bit of ‘normal life’,” Gina said. Olson, a mom present.

Her children, along with their friends and mothers, went through two obstacle courses: jumping over obstacles, crawling through tunnels, and searching for scattered eggs.

Afterwards, the kids ran to soccer goals where they threw goals for eggs, a traditional egg hunt along the park’s grassy hill, and finally, reunited with Sluggo before slipping into the base. welcome for eggs.

“It was a really generous offer for the community right now and (ECA) found a way to do it socially, where the kids could still have fun and be active at the same time,” said Olson.

Sophia Raviolo, 11, bends down to pick up an egg, while her friend Sophia Olson, 10, runs past.  In the background, their friend Clayton Reid, 9, lifts his egg in the air and runs back down to the field.  Eugene Civic Alliance welcomes children and families to Civic Park for "Easter Egg-stravaganza ”, one of the first events of the new park, on Sunday April 4, 2021.

Sending the children one by one through the course allowed everyone to have an equal opportunity for the eggs, but also that the equipment was sterilized between the participants, explained Monica Hernandez, ECA’s marketing director.

CEA has partnered with Kidsports, Centro Latino Americano, Looking Glass Community Services, CASA of Lane County, Relief Nursery, St. Vincent De Paul’s First Place Family Center, Friends of the Children and the Boys & Girls Club for the success of Sunday’s event.

“A few months ago, as things improved in Lane County in terms of COVID, we thought about hosting this event to welcome children and families after a difficult year,” Hernandez said.

Gallery:COVID-19 response in Lane County as of May 1, 2020

This period last year proved difficult for much of the local community. Instead, the Easter Bunny was seen helping Willamalane distribute boxes of food following the cancellation of their own event, MEGGA Hunt. At the time, closures and shelter-in-place orders had just been launched, supply shortages were prevalent throughout the county, and pantries were seeing record visits.

Sophia Raviolio, 11, sends a softball flying as Sluggo cheers from the pitcher's mound.  Raviolo was challenged to hit the ball, run around the bases, and come back for the eggs awarded by the Easter Bunny.  Eugene Civic Alliance welcomes children and families to Civic Park for

Due to the pandemic, the Egg-stravaganza is one of the first events at Civic Park since the closures began last spring. Prior to that, the ECA and Kidsports, a non-profit sports organization for young people, mainly focused on building and fundraising for the following complex the 2015 fire that razed the beloved civic stadium.

“We have just been operating as much as possible while awaiting regulation (COVID-19). We are really excited to see families here,” Hernandez said. “(With the zippers,) we miss kids who laugh, run and hear their shoes creak in the gym.”

Contact reporter Dana Sparks at dsparks@registerguard.com or 541-338-2243, and follow her on Twitter @danamsparks and Instagram @danasparksphoto. Want more stories like this? Subscribe to get unlimited access and support local journalism.

Alicia R. Rucker