Taken at an overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke, VA The Peeps appeared to have flung themselves over the ledge landing harshly on the rocky ledge below.
Evolution of a Game
The highlight of the first part of our spring break was the annual Easter gathering at my parents’ house. Each year, the extended family descends on the Roanoke, VA homestead for a day of family, food, and full contact Easter egg hunting.
I’m not sure where the full contact aspect to the egg hunt began. Back many moons ago, the hunt was a simple affair. A few eggs placed in the taller grass outside. Little kids wobbling around and hunting for the easy-to-find eggs. Simple prizes like marshmallow peeps awarded to the winners. Then as the grandchildren became more numerous and the first-gen children edged into middle age, the egg hunt became a clever affair where eggs were hidden in most unusual places. Yet even then, the adults and near adults were all encouraged to participate. The prizes remained mostly simple with a PEZ dispenser or a plastic egg full of spare change to the winners. As more time passed and hiding places were no longer unique or creative, the game seemed to seek an evolution into something more dramatic and dangerous. That’s where full contact Easter egg hunting took root.
This year’s hunt followed recent tradition. Eggs were hidden, people detained in a sealed room until the start, and a blast from an air horn signaled the beginning of the hazardous games. People were jostled and tossed to the ground, trees were shaken to their roots, and scuffles broke out between mother and daughter, sister and brother. Baskets or eggs were stolen, sometimes to be returned. In all, three separate hunts took place before the action finally petered out and the award ceremony began.
Evolution made a noticeable stride this year when it was discovered that an unknown number of eggs had accidentally not been boiled. These raw eggs were colored as usual and placed in with the more traditional hard-boiled eggs. Participants quickly discovered that these eggs were fragile and presented a unique handling challenge.
Spring and Easter are a special time in my family. It’s a season to gather and share memories through spirited competition.
If you have time, feel free to visit the four YouTube videos I’ve constructed documented the festivities.
Full Contact Egg Hunt 1
Full Contact Egg Hunt 2
The Final Full Contact Egg Hunt and Prizes