The Easter Bunny was on hand for the egg hunt in Asbury Park’s Sunset Park Sunday.
By ED SALVAS
Hundreds turned out Sunday for Asbury Park’s first Easter Egg Hunt in Sunset Park. The crowd was estimated at 600 according to Leesha Floyd, head of the city’s Recreation and Special Events Department.
“We were overwhelmed by the turnout,” Floyd said, considering it was a first time event and the date was changed at the last minute because of the threat of rain on Saturday.
The hunt took place at the western end of Sunset Park between Main and Bond Streets and included prizes and surprises for the youngsters who were asked to bring their own baskets.
The first 100 children under 10 years old received gift bags with candy, coloring books and toys, and if they found a “Golden Egg” they received a gift card to one of several fast food restaurants as well. There were also pictures with the Easter Bunny.
The Easter Egg Hunt was created to replace the Easter Parade and Promenade on the Boardwalk, an Asbury Park tradition for more than 80 years when women, men and children dressed up and were awarded prizes for the Best Dressed in a number of categories.
Leesha Floyd organized the Easter Egg Hunt with Cassandra Dickerson and said the popular Easter Promenade was a victim of the pandemic and the closing of both the Paramount Theater and Convention Hall on the boardwalk which had provided an indoor alternative if it rained. She also said the event had grown beyond its original theme as an event for Asbury Park residents.
The Asbury Park Easter Parade attracted thousands to the boardwalk during the 1950s and 1960s. Residents and visitors dressed in their Easter finery paraded up and down the boardwalk on Easter. If you caught a judge’s eye you were invited to join the contest to win a prize in a variety of categories including best bonnet and best dressed family.