It was all hands on deck for the City of Marco Island’s parks and recreation team as a huge crowd showed up at Mackle Park Saturday for the Spring Jubilee that was themed Hop Around the Park.
The covered basketball pavilion was like the midway at a county fair, with games the children loved playing—and parents and grandparents loved watching. The kids were challenged to knock over a metal milk bottle pyramid with a tennis ball or toss a ring over a post. The Easter Bunny even made an appearance and was treated like a rock star as children swarmed for photo opportunities. On the field area, eight different manned Easter Egg areas were set up for the youngsters to gather eggs and get their maps stamped by a volunteer or parks and recreation team member. Yet another activity area featured sack races and a standing broad jump challenge on the walking path around the lake. All of the stations were quite busy, yet remarkably orderly considering the number of participants.
“It was a great event that took lots of planning,” said Samantha Malloy, the city’s Manager of Parks, Recreation and Culture. Malloy was like the ringmaster at a three-ring circus as she hovered around the event, making sure everything was running smoothly.
“We have an amazing Parks and Rec team,” Malloy said. “They really put a lot of time and effort in the planning of the event. Our team thought outside the box and came up with fun games and a new scavenger hunt way for kids to find eggs. We had a lot of parents who told us they loved it and would like us to do it again rather than put the eggs on the field.”
The biggest worry in any Easter Egg hunt is running out of eggs. Participants were reminded to only take one egg at each station. Parents and grandparents were doing their best to help enforce that policy with their toddlers.
“We do need more eggs for next year,” Malloy said.
Many of the stations throughout the park were manned by volunteers who patiently entertained the large gathering of revelers. One teenage volunteer said, “They keep coming in waves!”
“I would like to do a huge shout-out to all of our volunteers,” Malloy said. “We couldn’t do the event without them. This year’s volunteers were enthusiastic and really went out of their way to ensure the kids had a great time! All in all, it was a gorgeous, perfect day for our Spring Jubilee.”