BREWER, Maine — Jeremy Somes stood with a camera in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other on Saturday as he watched his children Jake, 2, and Jozie, 4, bounce up and down in anticipation of the Easter egg hunt they were about to experience.
“They saw the eggs when we pulled in,” Somes said, standing inside the Brewer Auditorium waiting for the long-running annual colored-egg hunt to start.
While on the way to the event, the young family discussed techniques to get the best eggs, Somes said.
“What did you tell me in the car?” he asked his daughter, who pointed at the purple ribbon of her basket. “She’s only collecting pink and purple eggs.”
After visiting with the Easter bunny, who was handing out coupons for free french fries, Somes soon was surrounded by his neighbors and their children, along with his sister and mother, who came from Bangor to join the fun.
Neighbor Caden Hartley, 5, who brought a large basket with trucks on it, spoke to Jake about why he brought a bigger basket.
“You can carry more,” Caden said. “I think those ones [the smaller basket] they might fall out.”
Caden came to the event with his brother Turner, 2, who had the same basket as his big brother, and their parents, Jennifer and Jamie Hartley.
As the 10 a.m. hour approached, the crowd of children and their parents went outside to the playground where the colored eggs would be found, and waited to be released. Just before the chase for eggs began, Somes could be seen giving his two children a high-five for good luck, and then they were off.
Each child was allowed to collect 14 eggs. Those who found a golden egg inside the plastic one were given bicycles, provided by the Brewer Kiwanis Club, which along with the Brewer Burger King has been host to the event for more than 25 years.
“Kids are priority one for us and this is a great way to get out into the community,” said Tricia Largay, Kiwanis president.
This year, a Friday night flashlight egg hunt was held for the older children, ages 6 to 10.
“The older kids enjoy the night hunt,” Michael Martin, assistant director of the recreation department, said Saturday while directing parents to the resident and nonresident registration tables. “They get to use a flashlight and it makes it more of a challenge.”
Bike winners this year were Jacob Miller, 7, Kaiden Long, 4, and Cody Overlock, 3, who all live in Brewer.
Kiwanis Key Club members Erika Gagne, Sarah Meehan, Ryan Nadeau, Evan Nadeau and Molly Sadosky, all students at Brewer High School, hid the eggs and after the hunt was over stood around talking about how fast the children picked them up.
Saturday’s rec department Easter egg hunt is one of three the Somes children will take part in this year, Jeremy Somes said.
“We’ll have one at home in the morning [Easter Sunday], and then we’re heading to my mother’s for dinner and we’ll have one there as well,” he said. “They get their fill of the hunt.”