Oconee County rather quietly has cancelled its Easter Egg Hunt originally scheduled for April 19–the day before Easter–at Oconee Veterans Park.
The web site of the Oconee County Parks and Recreation Department contains the simple announcement that the egg hunt “will not be held this year due to park conflicts.”
|No Egg Hunt This Year|
The Visit Oconee web site run by the tourism department of the county, which has organized the egg hunt in collaboration with parks and recreation in recent years, does not list the cancellation.
Peggy Holcomb, director of tourism for the county, told me today I was the first person who has even asked her about it.
The Oconee Enterprise, a sponsor of the event last year, has opted so far not to write about the cancellation.
Sports Field Conflicts
In recent years, the egg hunt was on sports fields at Veterans Park on Hog Mountain Road.
Lisa D. Davol, deputy director of parks and recreation, told me in an email message today that “there are significant field conflicts, primarily with youth soccer field usage.”
Holcomb said the scheduling conflict at Veterans Park was only part of the reason for the cancellation.
She said it is a staffing and financial problem.
Holcomb said it would have been possible to move the event to Heritage Park on U.S. 441 in the south of the county, where it had been held in the past.
But holding the event there requires more staff than is required at Veterans Park, leading to the decision to cancel the egg hunt this year when the field conflict became an issue.
“We need help, and at this point we don’t have it,” she said.
The event last year at Veterans Park was promoted as the 16th annual county Easter Egg Hunt.
Holcomb said the Watkinsville merchant’s association initiated the event, and then it was taken over by the Athens-Oconee Junior Women’s Club.
That group gave it up four or five years ago, she said, and the Tourism Department and Parks and Recreation took over responsibility for it.
The Enterprise provided sponsorship in the form of advertising and promotion, Holcomb said.
Holcomb said that last year, she, her small staff, volunteers, and parks and recreation staff worked two to three weeks before the event filling 30,000 plastic eggs with candy.
Most of the candy had been donated she said.
“This year we didn’t find the funds or the time to do it,” she said. She said the decision was made in the last month or so.
“It is a shame,” she said. The event was always well attended, Holcomb said, drawing people not only from Oconee but from surrounding counties.
Holcomb said she hopes the county can find sponsors and hold the event again next year.