Jones Lake State Park holds annual Easter Egg Hunt with more than 400 participants
By Erin Smith
Jones Lake State Park was bustling with activity on Saturday morning and the Easter Bunny made an appearance during the park’s annual Easter Egg Hunt. The annual event is a crowd favorite. Park Superintendent Shane Freeman said more than 400 people pre-registered for the event and park staff prepared 4,500 plastic eggs for the hunt.
Barbara Patrick, with Friends of the Bay Lakes, said “It is a beautiful day for an egg hunt and games.” She explained the annual event is something the Friends of the Bay Lakes group has become involved with at Jones Lake and the kids all seem to enjoy it.
In addition to the egg hunt and an appearance by the Easter Bunny, games included a Wet T-shirt race, a football toss, bean bag toss, ring toss, fishing rod casting, and BB gun target shooting. The East Bladen Keyettes were offering face painting and the USDA Wildlife Resources trailer was on hand with their displays of various wildlife native to North Carolina. Also, the Elizabethtown Fire Department, Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, Bladen County EMS and North Carolina State Highway Patrol all had displays.
Jaimie Pruess and her children were in attendance for the event. She said her family is camping at Jones Lake for the weekend. “Actually this is our first time here. We found out about by looking up North Carolina camp sites and State Parks,” said Mrs. Pruess.
Quran Dennis and her family were also at the park. “We just come out to enjoy the kids and we like doing family things.”
Park staff were anticipating a huge turnout according to Freeman and they were not disappointed. A large crowd of visitors made their way into the park and spent the day playing games or swimming.
Boy Scout Troop 701 from Cumberland County volunteered to assist with games and food. Bladen County Sheriff’s Deputy Willoughby and K-9 Kain and Deputy Williamson and Trooper Atlas McVicker explained to children what it is like to work in law enforcement and displayed their patrol cars.
Park Ranger Lane Garner said a lot of different public agencies were invited to take part in the day. He said by learning about the different agencies and what they do, it could spark an interest for a child to pursue a career in a particular field.