For many in town, the Lenola Volunteer Fire Company Station 313’s egg hunt is as much a part of the Easter tradition as the Easter Bunny’s visit or gathering with family. The day before Easter, families will make their way to Jeff Young Memorial Park, and when the race begins, Moorestown’s young boys and girls will run and scramble to collect the most eggs.
It’s a Moorestown tradition, and this year the fire company is celebrating the hunt’s 80th anniversary. The hunt will kick off at 9 a.m. sharp at Jeff Young Memorial Park on Saturday, April 20.
Jamie Boren, a fire police captain and the hunt’s organizer, said the fire company sees itself as family, and so, it’s only right the family should have an annual Easter tradition. She said all of the fire company’s current members participated when they were children.
The hunt has grown in size over the years. Boren said they order around 5,000 plastic eggs two months in advance to prepare for the hunt. On the day of, volunteers wake up bright and early to rope off the field into sections for each age group.
When the hunt is complete, the firefighters spread out to help attendees count their spoils. The top two collectors will earn prize baskets.
While they don’t keep track of the number of attendees, Boren said they can draw crowds as large as 200 people on a good year. While they sometimes postpone the hunt if it’s rainy, the hunt usually takes place regardless of whether the forecast is calling for a chilly or temperate Easter weekend.
She said the Easter egg hunt of today is in stark contrast to when she was growing up in Moorestown. Boren, 42, said she recalls that the company’s ladies auxiliary group hand dyed hard-boiled eggs. The eggs were hidden in the woods across from Jeff Young Park, and children scoured the woods for them. Her immediate family and cousins would attend, and they used to make rainbow-colored egg salad sandwiches for lunch with their loot.
“It was something we always looked forward to,” Boren said.
Boren said for some families in town, three generations have made their way to the hunt. She said now she brings her children, who attend with their cousins. She said the best feedback they hear is from people who fondly remember attending during their childhood and have brought their own children to experience that same joy.
While there’s no plans to do anything out of the ordinary this go-around, Boren said they may just have to drum up something special when they hit the 100-year mark.
“We have no intention of stopping the Easter egg hunt at any point,” Boren said. “It’s nice to be able to continue the tradition.”