Rhinebeck Easter egg hunt draws happy hordes

At the stroke of 10, hundreds of children eagerly darted off on the search March 16 during Rhinebeck’s annual Easter egg hunt in the Thompson Mazzarella Park.

Roughly 2,000 eggs were foraged for by eager children, who seemed to leave no stone unturned.

And, in a matter of about 10 minutes, the melee was over.

Most kids counted their candy-filled plastic eggs and compared with their peers, some bragging. Others searched onward in mostly vain attempts, hoping to discover forgotten eggs.

In the midst of the hunt aftermath, little Owen Oleszewski of Rhinebeck counted and recounted his bounty. “I got 17!” he said. His young cousins, Natalie and Akie, in town with their parents to visit from Shady Side, Md., had found two eggs and 12 eggs, respectively.

Wes Oleszewski, an author from Maryland and father to Natalie and Akie, described what he had just witnessed as “shock and awe in pastel.”

“The kids charged up the hill for the eggs with a fervor that can only be seen in Rhinebeck,” he said.

Narcisa Rodriguez, of Rhinebeck, said the event was really nice despite the cold. But, she added, “My goodness, it was over so quick.”

Rodriguez’s son, Aiden, was very pleased with the hunt. “I got green eggs with chocolate inside,” he said, adding that chocolate is his favorite candy and green is his favorite color.

As the hunt subsided, some of the children handed their egg baskets and bags to their parents and tried making snow angels in the remnants of last week’s storm. Others climbed a mulch pile in the park field, but most abandoned the egg field eventually so they could romp on the nearby playground.

“It’s so great,” Melissa Oleszewski, Owen’s mother, said of the event, which was organized by town officials. “The kids have so much fun. They run all around, and it’s over really quick. And they get to go home with chocolate in their mouths. What else does a kid want from Easter?”

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