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An egg remains hidden as egg hunters search a field in Taneytown Memorial Park during an Easter egg hunt March 30, 2013.
An egg remains hidden as egg hunters search a field in Taneytown Memorial Park during an Easter egg hunt March 30, 2013. (DAVE MUNCH/STAFF PHOTO)

Celebrating the Easter season with eggs is a tradition that predates the holiday itself. For years, pagan festivals celebrated the vernal equinox by dyeing, painting and eating eggs as representative of new life associated with the coming of spring. These springtime traditions were folded into the religious celebration of Easter.

For many years, eating eggs was forbidden during the Lenten season, so families would celebrate the end of the fast with eggs on Easter morning.

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Today, Christians associate the rebirth of Christ with the symbol of the hidden life in the egg. As the county hops on down the bunny trail to Easter, churches and organizations are hosting Easter egg hunts and assorted holiday celebrations. Here's a sampling of some of the upcoming events.

Easter Egg Hunts

•Around 20,000 Easter eggs will be hidden around Freedom Park, 100 Raincliffe Road, for Journey Church Community's annual hunt. In addition to the search, the event will feature live music, face painting and food for sale. The event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 4 and is open to the entire community.

•Children 8 and younger will have their own egg hunt at Sykesville's Millard Cooper Park, 7391 Springfield Ave. 10 a.m. Friday, April 3. In addition to the main hunt, there will be a secondary Easter egg hunt for children 3 and younger. The Easter bunny will be on hand for photos.

•People who have a hard time spotting eggs in the outdoors might want to try out Winfield Bible Chapel's Glow in the Dark Easter Egg Hunt, 7 p.m. March 28. This hunt, taking place at dusk, will feature glowing eggs hidden throughout the darkened church, located at 5407 Woodbine Road, Woodbine, for children in grades seven and up.

•If the glow in the dark hunt seems too easy, head over to Westminster for their annual Twilight Egg Hunt. Searchers from ages 9 to 12 will grab flashlights and seek for eggs hidden throughout King Park on Chase Street at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 2.

•The City of Westminster will host two morning egg hunts on Saturday, March 28, at Westminster City Park behind 11 Longwell Ave. The hunt for children 4 and younger will begin at 10:30 a.m. and the hunt for children between the ages of 5 and 8 will start at 11:30 a.m. The hunt will feature bunnies from the 4-H Rabbit Club and organizers of the D.A.R.E. program and Safe Kids Carroll County will be on site to discuss their initiatives.

•Charlotte's Quest Nature Center, 3400 Wilhelm Lane, Manchester, will also host an Easter Adventure Egg Hunt at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 28. The hunt is broken down into age groups, with children age 3 and younger, 4 to 6, 7 to 9 and 10 to 12 competing against their contemporaries. In addition to the plastic eggs, there will be an additional prize egg, the finder of which receives the grand prize for the age group.

•The Wisdom Court Kids Club will use their Easter egg hunt as an opportunity to do good in the community. Their hunt, starting 3 p.m., Saturday, April 4, at King Park, 45 Chase Street, Westminster, will be held in conjunction with a food drive for Reisterstown's Community Crisis Center food pantry. The event is open to children of all ages, and will feature an Easter egg hunt, face painting, and catered food.

Alternative Easter Activities

•For Easter decoration tips, the North Carroll Branch of the Carroll County Public Library is hosting an Eggstravaganza for children between the ages of 9 and 17 at 2 p.m. March 31. During the event, they will work to make egg-shaped and egg-themed crafts and decorations to be used as Easter gifts.

•If all of the Easter eggs have driven you crazy, and you just want to see them destroyed, head over to the Mount Airy branch of the Carroll County Public Library at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 31. The library will host an Egg Drop Challenge, where children between the ages of 8 and 13 will compete to build a protective container for eggs that will be dropped from a height. Students need to register for the free event.

•If you're craving an Easter meal, check out the Sykesville Freedom District Fire Department's Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, held from 8 a.m. to noon March 29 at the fire department, 6670 Sykesville Road, Sykesville. The event features a home-cooked breakfast of scrambled eggs, pancakes, hash browns, biscuits with sausage gravy, bacon, sausage and more. Tickets are $7 for adults, $4 for children 3 to 12 years old, with children 3 and younger free.

•Downtown Mount Airy is hosting a city-wide Easter egg hunt, with their Search for the Golden Egg promotion. From March 30 to April 5, shoppers are invited to search for the hidden egg displayed in each of the shops in downtown Mount Airy. Search cards can be found at participating stores or at town hall. Those who mark off the location of each of the golden eggs will be eligible for prizes.

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Reach staff writer Jacob deNobel at 410-857-7890 or jacob.denobel@carrollcountytimes.com.

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