Apr 8, 2012 - By Martin Reed, Staff WriterHolly Dockstader remembers growing up in Riverton and hunting for Easter candy in a grocery store with many other children her age.
"My memory is doing it at Smith's. They threw candy down the aisles," said Dockstader, a mother of two young children.
Saturday's annual Easter egg hunt organized by the Riverton Chamber of Commerce at Jaycee Park was a far cry from the days of searching for candy below rows of shelves stocked with canned goods.
In between making announcements on a megaphone about where each children's age group would search for candy at the park, chamber director Jim Davis said this year's event resulted in almost 8,000 eggs filled with goodies.
That's not including the wrapped pieces of candy scattered about the ground.
"I spent probably $500 on candy," Davis said, adding that Encana Oil & Gas also contributed along with several other donors.
Under clear blue skies and brisk temperatures, a couple hundred parents with their children in tow and baskets and other containers in hand gathered to await the 10 a.m. start time.
"When the siren goes off, that will be the starting sound," Davis said through the megaphone, just minutes before the electronic beeping commenced.
Once the siren sounded, voices telling people to "go, go, go" accompanied the commotion surrounding the egg hunt.
In comparison to the older age groups where children trampled over grass to grab as many eggs as they could, the youngest category saw kids under 2 slowly walking and methodically reaching down to secure each treasured find.
Dockstader and husband, Jeremy, with their two children -- Tyler, 21 months, and Megan, 6 -- returned to visit Riverton from their home in Albuquerque, N.M.
"There's one right here," Jeremy said, pointing to a piece of candy for Tyler to place into his plastic bag.
It was Tyler's first Easter egg hunt, and he seemed to learn the ropes quickly.
"He had to fight with the bag a little bit," his father said. Instead of placing candy into the sack, "he just wanted to eat it."
Lisa Johnson grew up in Riverton and visited from her home in Casper with her 16-month-old daughter, Kaylee, and 6-year-old son, Mason.
To prepare Kaylee for her first hunt, Johnson had a bright pink flower perched atop her daughter's head. The toddler grasped a green fuzzy basket, ready for the search.
"I think she's pretty excited. She keeps seeing those and pointing to the eggs," Johnson said. "I'll be following behind her and letting her pick up the eggs."
Mom couldn't contain her own enthusiasm for the event.
"I think just bright colors we're going after. I think I'm more excited than she is," she said.
Get your copy of The Ranger online, every day! If you are a current print subscriber and want to also access dailyranger.com online (there is nothing more to purchase) including being able to download The Mining and Energy Edition, click here. Looking to start a new online subscription to dailyranger.com (even if it is for just one day)? Access our secure SSL encrypted server and start your subscription now by clicking here.