Adult egg hunt reveals the young at heart

PORT GAMBLE — Ten seconds. That’s all it took.

That was approximately how much time passed before a group of adults picked up approximately 2,000 plastic Easter eggs filled with treats geared toward their liking — gift certificates for flowers, massages and services in town, plus jewelry, truffles and candy.

While children’s Easter egg hunts are typical this time of year, the Port Gamble Merchants Association decided to let adults in on the fun during its first annual Old Fashion Spring Fair March 19.

Tim and Buffy Reister of Poulsbo felt bad about missing the children’s egg hunt an hour prior, so they decided to participate in the adult round to try and win some prizes for their two boys. They made things a little competitive by seeing who got the most eggs — Tim 25, Buffy 16.

“I could tell he won,” Buffy Reister said. “We missed the kids’ one, so we thought we’d do it for them.”

“I was kind of shy. I wasn’t sure if I was going to get into it,” Tim Reister added. “It was really fun.”

Boy Scout Pack 555 leaders Britt Samples and Berni Booher, both of Kingston, didn’t just come out for the kids.

“This is why I came out here,” Samples said with a laugh as she and Booher pulled out the necklaces and gift certificates they picked up.

Truffles, cookies and earrings were just some of the many goodies the Allison and Fowler families found during their hunt.

“This is very fun,” said Debbie Allison of Poulsbo, noting that she became interested when she read that the adult hunt was sponsored by La La Land Chocolates, on the hopeful suspicion that La La Land’s famous truffles would be involved. “We were just picking up as fast as we could.”

“The kids were scared. They were screaming,” chuckled Dave Fowler of Heppner, Ore. of the children standing on the sidelines and watching their parents go into a hunting frenzy.

“They had never seen us do it before,” Allison added.

Organizer Janie Marquiss said while the adults seemed to really enjoy the egg hunt, she and the other merchants didn’t have a clue as to how many people showed up overall.

“I really don’t know,” Marquiss said. “I just know every parking space in town was full.”

As for next year, they’ll try and utilize more of the buildings in town on the chance that it will rain, like it did on Saturday, as well as review what did and didn’t work.

While it was overcast all morning and the rain put a damper on the event about mid-afternoon, it didn’t stop kids from throwing pies in each other’s faces at the Kingston Junior High School FFA pie-in-the-face booth.

“I’m surprised with the weather,” said FFA advisor Steve Mahitka. “There actually has been a lot of people here.”

It didn’t hinder inside activities either, like the pie eating contest at The Spa at Port Gamble.

While they couldn’t do it outside, contest organizers Brian Eckerle and spa owner Carol Etherington hosted a less messier version inside the spa by creating a “pie plate,” consisting of a piece of pumpkin pie, a moon pie and a Hostess-like pie.

Of the six contestants, all kids, there were two winners — Hannah Craswell and Kyle Lange, both of Poulsbo.

While Lange said he had never eaten pumpkin pie before, it didn’t stop him from shoveling it down to win the $25 pot.

“I didn’t think I did but I’d never tired it before,” he said. “I normally don’t like pumpkin things.”

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