On Saturday morning, I joing Andy at a table in Fleet Feet Sports on Lincoln Avenue. We were there for the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce Annual Easter Egg Hunt. Businesses up and down Lincoln Avenue keep baskets of plastic eggs full of prizes and give them to youngsters from the neighborhood. At the end, everyone gathers in Giddings Plaza for the GRAND PRIZE DRAWING for an I-Pod. Oh why, oh why, didn’t I find a child to do the egg hunt for me.
For two hours rabid children race to our table, shake eggs, and try to pick the right one for the I-pod. Then they run back to the counter of Fleet Feet (our partner for the day) to get their second egg. You see every type of parent/child combo possible at free events. Parents with infants strapped into backpacks (the parent wants the I-pod), grandmothers sheparding a group of nine grandchildren ranging from ages 3 to 13, parents with double strollers, shy children, bold children, greedy children, and greedy parents. “Pick a good egg. No, not that one, the other.”
There were 15,000 eggs in about 24 businesses. And one I-pod to be won in a drawing at the end. As we stood in a circle with other Chamber of Commerce people, we worried, “Where is Ronald McDonald, he was supposed to be here at 11:30 and it’s nearly noon.” And William asked, “Who has a loudest voice, we don’t have a PA.” I know from experience, in any crowd, I am the loudest. Really. So William and I hopped onto the fountain covered with green plywood from the winter and I begin yelling about the drawing and giving instructions to be in the competition for the I-Pod. I win over both the Chamber of Commerce and the crowd when I slip into spanish and give the instructions again. It was halting spanish, but still spanish.
In the end, a kid about the right age to enjoy an I-pod won the GRAND PRIZE. Then we wandered back to the shop to welcome the 15 people who’d won prizes from us. Many were enjoying their first trip to Sweet Occasions and in a couple winners, enjoying their first Root Beer Floats.
So maybe the parents were greedy, but over all, I think people had fun. Nobody was busy thinking about Jesus, or what the eggs represent (what do the eggs represent), or other easter thoughts. But the fun interaction between community and business was worth spending two hours saying, “May I check off you card? Here is an egg. Fleet feet has another egg for you in the back.”