‘Eggcellent’ news: Aspen egg hunt is back

Janet Urquhart
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado
Janet Urquhart The Aspen Times

ASPEN – Aspen will resurrect its traditional Easter egg hunt on the grounds of the Wheeler/Stallard Museum on Sunday, thanks to a local mom who wants her youngsters to share in the fun she remembers from her own childhood days.

Heather Gentry is spearheading the return of the egg hunt with help from the Aspen Police Department. She approached the City Council for some funding help, but with time running short, the Police Department stepped up as the sponsor this year, providing nearly $1,000 to cover expenses. The event will be among various community gatherings the police host throughout the year with the goal of fostering relationships with the public, according to Blair Weyer, department spokeswoman.

Organizers will hide 4,000 plastic, toy-stuffed eggs about the museum grounds, formally known as Ruth Whyte Park. That’s up from 1,000 eggs when the Aspen Historical Society hosted the annual egg hunt before ending the tradition two years ago for various reasons.

Gentry moved to Aspen with her family as a 1-year-old and remembers annual egg hunts outside the museum. Now, with two young children of her own, she’s eager to see them experience the beloved tradition.

“No one’s forgotten the egg hunt,” Gentry said. “There isn’t a single person I’ve talked to who isn’t excited.

“It’s such a tradition. I think Aspen was really missing it these past years.”

There are other egg hunts in Aspen and around the upper valley, including one Saturday at the Aspen Recreation Center (3- to 5-year-olds at 11 a.m., younger than 3 at 11:30 a.m. and 6 and older starting at noon), but the one on the museum grounds long was considered the big kahuna of egg hunts.

With 4,000 eggs available, kids can fill their baskets, Gentry said. There’ll be different zones for different age groups; the eggs will be a little more cleverly placed for the older set. Youngsters as old as 2 will have their own hunt, 3- to 5-year-olds will hunt together, and those age 6 and older will have a separate free-for-all.

“Those are the ones that are tackling each other,” Gentry joked of the older participants.

There will be uniformed police officers on hand, not necessarily to control potential mayhem but to interact with youngsters. Still, if things get out of hand …