City takes ownership of Graham Field

A spring tradition will be returning to Surry County this year, when the Surry County Parks and Recreation holds an Easter Egg Hunt at Fisher River Park in Dobson.

The hunt was an annual tradition put on by the department until 2020. That year, as was the case with most of regular public gatherings, the event was cancelled in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, still in the throes of the pandemic, it was again cancelled.

This year, with the drop in local cases, the recreation department will bring back the popular event.

“We usually tally over 600 people entering the gate,” said Bradley Key, program coordinator for parks and rec. “The event is more than just the egg hunt…between 10 and 1, community vendors, agencies, civil service groups along with their vehicles — fire trucks, Humvees, various vehicles — are on display. Families come, visit these booths, talk with representatives from these agencies.”

There is also plenty of fun, with the Easter Bunny expected to be onhand to visit with children, along with face painting, arts, crafts, and other activities.

Best of all, Key said, the event is free — though organizers are asking those attending to bring a canned food item for donation, with the food going to area food banks.

City takes ownership of Graham Field

Of course, the big draw — at least for the youth — is the Easter egg hunt. Key said roughy 8,000 eggs will be there.

“Each egg will be stuffed with candy or toys and there is a grand prize Golden Egg to be found in each age group’s area,” he said.

Key explained the egg hunting is done in three shifts, with kids grouped by age. At noon those aged birth up to 3 will collect eggs, at 12:20 p.m. the 4- to 6-year-olds will be let lose on the field; and at 12:40 those aged 7 and older will have their chance.

“You don’t want to be late,” he said with a laugh. “They can clear a whole ball field of thousands of eggs in less than 5 minutes. It is amazing. Generally, each child collects at least 20 eggs.”

He does say children need to bring their own baskets, although the county will have a limited number available for those who may forget or need an additional basket.

“We would love to see a similar size crowd to what we’ve had in the past, it’s a great fun healthy activity for the families to get back involved in. Folks may have not had as much opportunity to have fun over the past couple of years. We’re happy to offer this as a chance to get out for a fun, family activity.”

He said the event is outdoors, which will limit potential COVID issues, and while masks are not required, individuals are still free to wear one if they want. The county will have hand sanitizer on hand for individuals to use, and he said there will be plenty of space for people to spread out, observing social distancing practices.

The gathering is set for April 2. For more information, visit the Parks and Recreation Facebook page.

Key said if inclement weather occurs and the event cannot be held, it will still go on — just in a drive-through format, with folks able to drive up for youth to get some goody-filled eggs.