‘Biggest Easter Egg Hunt’ highlights Spring Fling events in Tekamah, Nebraska

Child picking up plastic Easter eggs during egg hunt at Spring Fling
Children and parents braved cold temps to take part in the “Biggest Easter Egg Hunt West of the Mississippi” in Tekamah, Nebraska.

Hundreds of children. Thousands of Easter eggs. Wind chills in the mid-teens couldn’t stop kids of all ages from lining up for rides, eating challenges and the “Biggest Easter Egg Hunt West of the Mississippi” at Tekamah’s Master’s Hand boutique. The annual Spring Fling event drew people from across eastern Nebraska and western Iowa to the rural town of about 1,800.

While people took part in games, shows and other entertainment options, the main attraction didn’t let the kids down. The Easter Bunny arrived mid-morning, eager to visit with children of all ages.

The Easter Bunny visits with a family.
The Easter Bunny visits with a family.

As the gray clouds refused to give way to blue, strong winds kept the temperatures on the chilly side (I noted the wind chill was a “balmy” 16 at about 10:30 a.m.). But, that failed to stop Susie Robinson, owner of Master’s Hand and the Spring Fling’s organizer. When Mother Nature tossed her lemons with the weather, Susie abruptly did a 180 and moved outside events inside, where necessary. Dance shows and musical groups performed inside Susie’s store instead of on the outdoor stage.

Diner the Cockatoo entertained kids of all ages during the Spring Fling. The 18-year-old bird was part of a display hosted by Critter Close-ups.
Diner the Cockatoo entertained kids of all ages during the Spring Fling. The 18-year-old bird was part of a display hosted by Critter Close-ups.

Children wanting to play with the inflatables, such as zorbing balls and a giant slide, had to wait a few hours until the wind died down enough to inflate some of the rides.

Kids enjoyed playing on the inflatable slide.
Kids enjoyed playing on the inflatable slide.

The weather failed to stop youngsters from grabbing horseback rides from LaRue’s Little Horse Ranch, from Scribner, Nebraska. Other animal attractions included lambs, small cattle, an emu and a Shetland pony.

Kids ride small ponies.
Giddy up lil pony.

Of course, the main event had to be the egg hunts for children up to 12 years old. The egg hunts – which – featured about 25,000 plastic eggs with treats or prizes inside – were divided into age groups. The chilly temperatures didn’t keep the youngsters from storming the field to fill their baskets with goodies.

Little girl picks up Easter eggs
This child found her fair share of Easter eggs.

Face painting, ‘Frozen’

Master’s Hand dining room was transformed into a face painting and balloon toy area. Families lined up to pick out one of about 30 paint designs and dozens of balloons.

Little girl gets face painting done
This little girl was happy with her face painting decision after the artist finished.

Music groups ranged from Heartland Hoedowners dancers to Omaha Street Percussion performers.

I thought about joining the Peep eating contest, knowing that I could easily defeat any challenger, since the crystallized sugar and marshmallow treats have been my jam from childhood. Realistically, I would have been lucky to down one before the kids probably polished off a 24-pack. Seriously, though, the eating contest featured a group of children from probably 5 to 12 or 13. They each were given two Peeps and the first three to finish eating theirs the fastest were the winners.

Older children eating during a peeps contest
These two youths took second and first place, respectively.

As with any social gathering, actors dressed as favorite movie characters make an appearance. Batman, Elsa and other “Frozen” characters were in attendance. Mascots from Jelly Belly candy, Cubby’s mini-mart, Tekamah-Herman schools and other businesses fought the wind to entertain people.

Frozen characters Elsa and Anna at Spring Fling
Elsa and Anna entertained children during Spring Fling.

Of course, we couldn’t leave Master’s Hand without some of Susie’s world-famous chocolates (especially, since our daughters texted us their orders). Serendipity Chocolate offers treats ranging from sea salt caramels to a variety of fudge.

Chocolate candy display
Oh, the choices in chocolates.

In the end, people attending complimented the way Susie and her team handled the weather conditions while putting on a fun-filled event. Next year, Easter weekend is April 21, so maybe Mother Nature will be in a more cooperative mood. Regardless, rain or shine, Spring Fling in Tekamah should be on everyone’s Easter basket list.

For more information on Master’s Hand and its attractions, please visit www.mastershandcandles.com.