MEXICO — More than 100 children ages 6 and under participated in Saturday’s annual Easter Egg Hunt behind the Mexico fire station.

Colorful plastic eggs were hidden mostly in plain sight beside the gazebo area and on the lawn beside the fire station.

The temperature was 44 degrees shortly before the 9 a.m. hunt began, with dark clouds threatening snow and rain showers and a chilling breeze starting to blow. Fortunately, a young child dressed in a Batman outfit was there to keep the weather at bay, or so it seemed.

Mexico fire Lt. Jamee Theriault had the large crowd of adults and small children move back behind a wooden barricade. The Easter bunny mingled with the crowd, posing for pictures with young children and trying not to frighten the more timid ones.

And then a fire engine horn sounded, and the hunt was on.

Children took off pell-mell across the parking lot, running for eggs while adults tried to keep up. Some walked, but most ran exuberantly, hats and Easter bonnets flying off.


Each child was allowed one plastic egg and then stood in line with their parents or grandparents waiting to trade in the egg for a colorful plastic Easter pail full of toys and goodies.

“We had 125 buckets and all of them went,” said Theriault, who traded buckets for eggs in the gazebo.

Some of the younger children, however, were quite content with their plastic eggs and didn’t want to trade them in. It took a bit of coaxing.

Firefighters had a backup plan if more children showed up than there were eggs. They’d slyly toss an egg out of their jackets and point at it for the children to find.

The hunt is one of two hosted by the River Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Mexico Fire Department. Children ages 7 through 12 participated in the much broader hunt for eggs that were hidden throughout the towns of Byron, Canton, Carthage, Dixfield, Mexico, Peru, Roxbury and Rumford. Clues for those hidden eggs were read through local radio station WOXO 100.7 FM from 6 to 9 a.m.

When they found an egg, they were to bring it to the Mexico fire station before noon to receive an Easter basket.

Comments are no longer available on this story