Bartow Kiwanis Club Celebrating 100th Easter Egg Hunt
by James Coulter
Bartow resident Savannah Cerullo fondly remembers attending her town’s annual Easter egg hunt when she was a child. Her parents would have her dress in her Sunday best and take pictures of her carrying her Easter basket filled with freshly-plucked eggs.
“It was a lot of fun,” Cerullo said. “It was a time where you saw everyone from the town and had a lot of fun outside in the beautiful spring weather. Hopefully, a lot of people will be able to do that this year.”
Now as the president of the Bartow Kiwanis Club, Cerullo is helping organize the annual event. She and her club members are especially excited for this year, which will be the annual Easter egg hunt’s 100th anniversary.
Since 1922, the Bartow Kiwanis Club has been hosting this annual Easter tradition. Generations of Bartow locals have raced across the lush green lawn of Mosaic Park in search of colored eggs and golden eggs filled with special prizes.
“It is something that a lot of us who grew up in Bartow have memories going to as a kid, and it is nice that we can carry on that tradition,” Cerullo said.
While this year will serve as a milestone for the Easter Egg Hunt, it will also prove to be a challenging year with the COVID-19 crisis still ongoing. Nevertheless, special precautions will be taken to ensure the public health and safety of its participants.
All event workers will be spaced out and wearing masks as they set up the Easter egg hunt. Since the event is outdoors, the young children participating will not be required to wear masks, though mask-wearing is more than encouraged.
Past events have experienced overall good weather. Cerullocannot recall the hunt ever being rained out, though she assumes there might have been a time that was the case during the 100 years the event has been hosted.
More than 100 children attend on average each year. The egg hunt itself usually lasts no longer than 10 minutes, as the children participating prove to be fast on their feet and with their fingers picking up the eggs, she said.
The Kiwanis Club is most thankful for one dedicated member, Ken Hall, who has faithfully helped oversee the hunt for many long years. He helps set up the eggs and prizes.
“He has been doing it for us for several years, and it could not happen without Ken,” Cerullo said. “If he didn’t put the Easter egg hunt on, we don’t know what we could do about it because we never host it without Ken.”
Overall, even despite these uncertain times, expectations remain optimistic for the upcoming Easter egg hunt. The annual Easter tradition has been hosted for 100 years, and this year’s event should hopefully go on without a hitch, Cerullo said.
“Our club is very proud of our history, and we are excited to be able to carry on with our 100th anniversary,” she said. “We don’t really know what to expect. There have been two schools of thought of what attendance will be like. One will be that it is low because people are cautious about going to events; the other is that, because there has not been events, it will be very well attended as people are now going out again. So we don’t really know…[but] it is an exciting thing for us.”
The Bartow Kiwanis Easter Egg Hunt will be hosted on Sat., Apr. 3 at 10 AM at Mosaic Park, located at 2250 S Floral Ave, Bartow, FL 33830. For more information, visit their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/bartowkiwanis