Longwood Park, located at 611 E. Main Street in Salem, hosts several events throughout the year.
On Thursday, April 13, hundreds of children showed up with containers in anticipation for the annual City of Salem Easter Egg Hunt. “I’ve been employed with the city for 30 years and I’ve been working the Easter egg hunt probably most of those years,” Kathy Murphy, Salem’s Special Events Manager, said. “This event is always free and has a way of bringing the community together.”
Before she left her house to go to Longwood Park, Amy Anderson said her three sons promised they would be on their best behavior. “Whenever candy is involved my boys tend to tune everything out and focus solely on the sweets,” she jokingly said. “I made it abundantly clear to them that if they didn’t listen to me, they weren’t going to get any candy.”
Thousands of eggs were once again planted all throughout the park. Half were full of candy while the other half contained toys. Animals from the Mill Mountain Zoo were an added attraction to this year’s egg hunt, which was presented by the Salem Kiwanis Club. “Every year we try to bring in something different and this year we were excited about what we had up our sleeves,” Kathy said.
When asked what was her favorite part about the Easter egg hunt, nine-year-old Rhize Miller mentioned spending time with her family. “Anytime I can beat my older siblings in something I’m all for it,” she said. “I was the one who collected the most eggs today so I’m certainly going to rub it in their faces.”
According to Dylan Scott, his favorite parts of the egg hunt were collecting candy and taking a picture with the Easter Bunny. “My parents don’t allow me to eat a lot of sweets but today they made an exception as well as let me take a few pictures with the fuzzy bunny,” the eight-year-old said. Fourth grader Eugene Lawrence also got his picture taken with the Easter Bunny. “Because I did all of my chores around the house, my parents told me that I can do whatever I wanted at the park,” he said.
Looking back over the years, Kathy Murphy says she understands why the City of Salem Annual Easter Egg Hunt is so popular within the community. “This event has been around since I was a little girl,” she said. “I look forward to this every single year.”