LAURINBURG — Washington Park was overflowing with children and their families as the beautiful weather on Saturday brought hundreds out to enjoy the parks fourth annual “Eggstravaganza.”
Little ones enjoyed running from the playground in the park over to the bounce houses before stopping for a sweet treat. Cotton candy, snow cones and popcorn were all being given out by the boat load as children got hungry from playing. Children also had their faces painted with everything from butterfly wings to rabbit ears. Some of the older children played three-on-three basketball on the sidewalk as everyone waited to hunt Easter eggs.
While the children were running around hopped up on sugar, adults kicked back under the covered benches and listened to James Brown on the saxophone. Brown played several popular songs like Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” on the saxophone, giving it a jazz twist. Families didn’t have to worry about fixing lunch because Hope and his staff provided a cookout featuring hot dogs, hamburgers, fried chicken with all the fixings and sweet tea to wash it all down.
The event put on by Laurinburg native Wayne Hope was a way for the 1988 Scotland High graduate to give back to his community and be an example for the young people in attendance.
“It was a great success with a huge turnout,” Hope said. “That is the norm, having the whole community come out. We might have had 70 more people this year. It’s a lesson, just because you move away from the community doesn’t mean you can’t give back to them. We all need that sometimes, to know there are people out there who care.”
The Eggstravaganza hit a bit of a snag when Hope and his staff realized more than half the eggs they had scattered around the park and orchard next to it had been taken. A group of older children had gone into the field and taken a majority of the eggs for the egg hunt. Despite the snag, Hope and his staff were able to locate more eggs and managed to hide almost 500 eggs.
Hope was disappointed, but said organizers still managed to have the egg hunt.
“We hid more eggs,” he said. “We let the two through four years olds have a 10-second head start.”
Hope said another 250 eggs were included in the free Easter baskets given out to the children.
“It gets bigger each year,” Hope said. “Mayor Block came and said he would love to be part of the event next year and will do whatever he can to help. We will be adding more things for next year — so the event is even bigger and better.”
Amber Hatten can be reached at 910-506-3170.