The energy and excitement was palpable outside the front doors of the Destin Library on Wednesday morning.
Children ran around in the grass dressed in their Easter best. There were eggs to hunt, treats to eat, and whispers that Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny were on the way to make an appearance.
Parents and grandparents posed for photos with their children in front of large Easter Bunny balloons, and volunteers all wore bunny ears as they snapped pictures and checked attendees off the list.
The 15th annual Destin Library Easter Egg Hunt was off to a great start.
Will Rogers, the library’s jolly reference and youth service librarian, chose one lucky boy to pull apart the tape separating eager children from filling their baskets with eggs.
"This is a great opportunity for children to come and be amongst one another and it also fosters the role of the library in our community," Rogers said.
Cheerful music played in the background as kids ran around the library, gathering eggs on the floor, on bookshelves, and hidden in just about every nook and cranny.
"Here comes Peter Cottontail, Hoppin’ down the bunny trail, Hippity, Hoppity, Easter’s on its way."
According to Rogers, there were enough eggs placed throughout the library for each child to have up to 35 eggs or more in their basket.
"This is our first time here," said Scarlett Martin, who held one son while her older son hovered nearby. "We loved it. We traveled from Fort Walton Beach to come over here because this library rocks."
When most of the eggs were nestled safely in baskets, Rogers led Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny into the library. They sat in front of a green screen for pictures, and immediately, a little girl ran to give Mr. Easter Bunny a hug.
Some children had the adverse reaction, unsure what to think of the oversized, unblinking bunnies walking on two feet.
"He’s scared of the Easter Bunny," Martin said, as her son looked at her with worried eyes.
Overall, though, after photos were taken with Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny, children and their parents left the library smiling.
"It’s always so fun working with the kids," said volunteer Billy Mayfield. "They always have great smiles for Easter and it’s just fun to be around them."