GREENVILLE – Greenville’s North Park was overrun with young children and their families in anticipation of the fourth annual Greenville Community Egg Hunt.
The huge egg hunt, hosted by Gospel Baptist Church, has ballooned over the past four years, and this year hosted between 1,200 and 1,500 participants.
As a result, the entire North Park parking lot was filled to capacity, and participants had to park on both sides of the street for more than 100 yards back to find a space.
Not only did the event provide close to 10,000 plastic Easter eggs for Saturday morning’s festivities, but also featured three bounce houses, food and drink, and face painting for the kids.
And best of all, it was totally free to the community.
“It’s just a simple way to give back to the community,” said Gospel Baptist Church Pastor Bill Edwards. “Especially family activities that are a lot of fun and that don’t cost the family a lot.”
During its first year the event hosted only 150 people inside Gospel Baptist Church’s auditorium. The next year the event moved to South Park in Greenville and doubled its numbers.
The real change came in 2013 when the event moved to Greenville’s North Park, and the egg hunt swelled to more than 1,000 participants.
“Gospel just wants to be a church in the community that gives back in a generous way to be a blessing to people,” said Edwards. “We think Jesus would be doing that. It’s just one way we can simply give with no strings attached.”
Several egg hunts took place over a two-hour period, as children aged 0 to 13 were able to take turns running through the fields of North Park looking for the colorful eggs.
While many of the eggs held candy, the egg hunt also provided more than $300 dollars worth of gift cards for the parents, ranging from Kroger’s, Wal-Mart, Scene 75 Entertainment, Target, Kohl’s and gas cards.
“It’s not just a great time for kids. We want to bless the parents too,” said Edwards.
And while the egg hunt was a large undertaking to organize, many of Gospel Baptist Church’s members joined in to provide help.
“We have about 70 volunteers that are working all the different areas today,” said Edwards. “They’re just giving of themselves to be a blessing to the people.”
Families from around the county and beyond took part in the day’s events, and many filled their time in between egg hunts while playing on the park equipment, talking with old friends or simply enjoying the day in the warm sun.
“We just want every person to feel like they’re important. Because they are important to God., and we care for them greatly,” said Edwards. “That’s why we’re here.”