Draper’s annual Easter egg hunt is mobile and memorable
Apr 27, 2020 11:07AM
By Stephanie Yrungaray
Members of Draper City Council pose with the Easter bunny prior to delivering eggs to residents. (Photo courtesy of Draper City)
By Stephanie Yrungaray | [email protected]
30,000 filled Easter eggs. 1,045 homes. An army of city employees, firefighters, police officers and volunteers. Two Easter bunnies. One day.
One of Draper’s most popular community events wasn’t hindered by a worldwide pandemic. Creative thinking, and a lot of work, made the 2020 Easter Egg Hunt mobile...and memorable.
“Our traditional Easter egg hunt at Galena Park always brought thousands of people,” said Draper Parks and Recreation Director Rhett Ogden. “We were looking at cancelling it and I thought it was kind of sad. We tried to think of a way to get the eggs to the masses without them coming to us.”
Ogden and the parks and recreation staff created a Google form for residents to sign-up for Easter egg delivery. Every child in Draper ages 12 and younger was eligible for a delivery of 10 candy-filled plastic Easter eggs and a small stuffed animal. Once information and a link to the form were posted on Facebook, it didn’t take long for the requests to come rolling in.
“Within an hour or two, thousands [of egg deliveries] were claimed,” Ogden said. “It was well received right from the beginning. It was amazing how fast people jumped on and were excited to have us bring their kids eggs.”
Then the real work began. While city staff began filling eggs following pandemic safety guidelines (wearing gloves and masks), Draper’s GIS department was tasked with plugging addresses from the Google form into useable maps for distribution.
“They populated all of the addresses on different maps,” Ogden said. “Then they broke the city into 32 different sections. Once we had all of the addresses, GIS was a big help.”
On April 10 at 9 a.m., around 50 city employees set out to deliver all of the eggs. Wearing an unusual combination of PPE and bunny ears, they set off in pairs to deliver eggs prepackaged into grocery bags.
Two routes, one with Ogden and the other with Mayor Troy Walker, had the special treat of an Easter bunny to help deliver the eggs. Seven routes were covered by the fire department, two routes were covered by the police department and city employees from other departments helped deliver to the remaining houses. Bags were placed on doorsteps and social distancing was maintained, but that didn’t put a damper on the excitement.
“It was the neatest thing I’ve seen in a long time,” Ogden said. “It was touching to me how appreciative everybody was. It was so fun to see the kids open the door and see the Easter bunny standing there. Even though they were keeping their distance they were smiling and laughing and jumping up and down. It was good for the soul.”
“It was a great experience to be part of,” Walker said. “The little kids were happy and it was so much fun.”
Angie Ward said her children, 9-year-old Lanie and 6-year-old Liam, were super excited when the Easter bunny showed up at their door.
“It was really cool to have someone drop off Easter treats for them,” Ward said, “Draper could have just as easily cancelled [the Easter egg hunt] and nobody would have thought anything of it. To go the extra mile and deliver eggs to the kids made me proud to be a Draper citizen.”
Eight-year-old Ollie Kenyon was excited to see the eggs had been delivered to his doorstep.
“It was cool,” Ollie said. “I couldn’t wait to hide them.”
His mom, Melanie, said her boys, Ollie and 6-year-old Anders, took turns hiding them for each other in their backyard and it kept them busy for a long time.
“[The egg delivery] was amazing,” Kenyon said. “I feel like we needed it more than anything, it was something to break up the monotony and the kids needed that.”
There was one small snafu in the day of deliveries, after Facebook comments made it clear a group of people had been skipped.
“One staff member came back and realized a whole route worth had been missed,” Ogden said. “She actually took it upon herself and delivered to 50 homes by herself up until 9 p.m. at night so we didn’t miss anybody.”
Ogden said that Draper City and the recreation department work hard every day to improve the quality of life for residents and all of the effort of putting together 2020’s Easter egg delivery was worth it.
“It is a strange and hard time for people right now,” Ogden said. “I’m glad we could be a part of a good memory for them.”