On Saturday, as a horde of children happily hunted for the more than 11,000 cand-filled Easter eggs that were hidden throughout the park, parents and grandparents snapped pictures of their tiny tots.
Drawing hundreds of pastel-clad children every year, Destin's annual Easter Egg Hunt has become a favorite for both locals and tourists. Held annually at Morgan Sports Center on Indian Bayou Trail in Destin, the egg hunt offers participant’s five age groups — 0-1; 1-2; 3-4; 5-6; 7-9 and 10-12.
New Orleans residents and expert Easter egg hunters, 8-year-old Justice Allen and his cousin Kyle Major, 20-months-old, both proudly held baskets that were overflowing with dozens of colorful plastic eggs they had collected.
"I helped him a little bit," said Justice of assisting his younger cousin Kyle gather the Easter eggs. "I wanted him to have just as many."
There was also a small world moment for the Majors as fellow New Orleans-native, 19-month-old Murat Hatipoglu, was also in the hunt. Mother Chiquita Major told The Log that running into the Hatipoglu family in Destin was a complete surprise.
"Murat and my son (Kyle) are best friends," said Chiquita. "They go to the same preschool [in New Orleans]."
Maximizing all of the park’s fields — the day offers more than just spirited egg hunting competition. Games, prizes and even a photo-op with the Easter Bunny are part of the day’s festivities.
Local huntress, 5-year-old Jadyn Karvonen, brought her mother Carmen along with her for the egg hunt. The Destin Elementary School students was one of the thousands of Okaloosa County students on Spring Break last week, and this outing was a last hurrah of sorts.
"A whole lot," said Jadyn when asked how many Easter eggs she had in her pink basket. "We didn't participate in this last year — but we have in previous years," Carmen added.
No eggs were harmed or scrambled in the day’s hunting. After the fun of the day, the eggs were placed into a bin to be recycled and used for next year’s Easter egg hunt in Destin.