PITTSBURG — The City of Pittsburg Parks and Recreation Department is preparing for its ninth annual Easter egg hunt. Set for 11 a.m. Saturday, at Lincoln Park and Don Gutteridge Sports Complex, this event is free to the public and open to children ages nine and under.

Throughout this week, volunteers will finish stuffing more than 10,000 Easter eggs with candy and small prizes in preparation for the event.

Hosted by PPRD and sponsored by the Pittsburg YMCA, McDonalds and Pittsburg Area Young Professionals, this event draws families with young children each year to gather brightly-colored eggs filled with tasty treats. The Easter Bunny himself will be there, too.

Recreation Superintendent Sara Vacca encouraged parents to bring multiple helpers for multiple age groups. Pittsburg Area Young Professional started filling each of the 10,000 eggs in February.

“These events are important for the community because they are opportunities for kids and families to socialize,” Vacca said. “It’s a good way to have fun together.”

Big Brutus will also host an Easter egg hunt at 3:30 p.m., March 30.

“We’ve been doing this for a long time and it’s very popular,” Manager Betty Becker said. “Every year we have a bunch of kids come out.”

The hunt is divided into three age groups, ranging from children ages zero to 12 years. The event will feature prizes such as t-shirts and candy.

“It lasts about only ten minutes,” Becker said. “Once those kids get started, they just snatch those eggs up.”

Girard’s annual Easter egg hunt will take place at 10 a.m., March 31, on the courthouse lawn. Children ages 10 and under are allowed to take part in the festivities.

This hunt is sponsored by Celebrate Girard Events Committee, Girard 150, and other area businesses. Along with the Easter egg hunt itself, the event will feature face painting, a petting zoo, church booths, and a rock-painting booth.

To commemorate Girard’s 150-year anniversary, $150 will be divided among special prize eggs throughout the courthouse. Additionally, a bus tour detailing the history of Girard will be held in the afternoon. Visit the Girard Chamber of Commerce Facebook page for updates on specific times.

“We have kids who grew up in Girard, moved on, and then came back for the Easter egg hunt with their kids, so it’s kind of like a mini reunion,” said Julie Smith, Executive Director of Girard Chamber of Commerce. “What we look forward to most is just seeing each other.”

Smith urges parents to arrive at the courthouse lawn early, as the egg hunt will likely end within just a few minutes.

Finally, the Pittsburg State University chapter of the Kansas Art Association will have a “paint your Easter eggs” fundraiser on Thursday, March 29. More details will be announced later this week.

 — Brandon Schmitz is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be reached at bschmitz@morningsun.net.