LEWISTON – The sweat gathered quickly on 31-year-old Walter Jackson’s brow as he tried to keep supplies of multi-colored plastic eggs stashed in bails of hay at the Lewiston Armory on Saturday.
A volunteer for the Lewiston Recreation and Parks Department Easter Egg Hunt, Jackson was manning a roped-off area where the hunt was taking place. Around the armory, children were in line to search for eggs or busy decorating cookies, bouncing in a moon walk and playing with balloon animals and hats.
“Probably today we’re going to end up giving about 10,000 eggs out,” Jackson said.”It’ll be nonstop, but it’s so much fun. It’s such a rush.”
Recreation Superintendent Joline Banaitis said about 600 children from Lewiston and the surrounding towns usually show up for the Easter event.
“I think it’s a wonderful community gathering,” she said.
Groups including the Lewiston Police Department, Lewiston Fire Department, Lewiston High School Track Boosters Club, New Beginnings and the Air Force Junior ROTC were helping out Saturday.
“We come every year,” said Lewiston mother Stacy Lahr, whose daughter Margaret Sidelinger, 6, was checking out Easter bunnies who greeted visitors at the door.
“I like them,” Margaret said, bouncing with excitement. She introduced her sister, Lennessa Lahr, 9.
Raben Rossignol, 6, of Lewiston, was with family members including her sister, Paige Rossignol, 2, and cousin, Ryan Bell, 8. They all had balloon hats, and Ryan had a sword. What were they going to do next?
“I don’t know,” said Raben, looking around the armory at all the activity.
Back at the egg hunt corral, Jackson was ushering children with Easter baskets and plastic bags toward the hay bale stacks.
He works at New Beginnings shelter, where he said each year teens at the shelter spend hours stuffing the plastic eggs and helping out with the hunt.
“We’re giving back to the community that gives to us,” he said.