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What’s ‘hoppening’? Easter egg hunts kick off spring season in Howard County.

By opening its doors for the 2021 season on Thursday, Clark’s Elioak Farm is hopping right into the Easter spirit by offering numerous egg hunts not just on Easter weekend but every day from Friday through April 11.

“Come and do an egg hunt any time,” said Martha Clark, owner of the Ellicott City farm. “Hopefully, we’ll make lots and lots of people happy.”

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In past years, Easter weekend used to be one of the biggest weekends for the farm, which opened in September 2002.

“It was a nice assortment of all types of people,” Clark said. “Folks who come year after year and others looking for egg hunts and find us.”

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As attendance to the farm is monitored by timed ticket entry, Clark believes the free egg hunts will never be too crowded, with perhaps 15 to 20 children. Scheduled every half-hour, the hunts are designed for tots ages 1 to 3 in one field and for children 4 to 6 years old in another. Participants collect eggs and turn them in for goody bags.

“Once we let the rope down, egg hunts take about three minutes,” Clark said, laughing. “In half an hour, you can do two egg hunts and put eggs out for the next round. You just do it all day.”

Clark realizes, however, that even 15 to 20 young children spread out around a field might be too crowded for some families amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“If you really don’t want to be slightly crowded at an egg hunt, come on a Thursday at 2 p.m.,” Clark said. “You will probably be the only one there.”

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Historic Savage Mill is also hosting The Hoppening, an outdoor Easter egg hunt, on Saturday. Three hunts for children ages 10 and under are scheduled for 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. in the Mill’s courtyard and grassy area. Tickets are $10.

“It used to be held inside,” said Julie Rogers, director of marketing and communications for the Mill. “We wanted to keep it safe for everyone, so we are splitting it up into three hunts with 25 kids allowed.” Between hunts, there will be hula hoop dancing and will the Easter Bunny will visit. All participants will be required to wear masks and practice social distancing.

“We know kids are kids and like to run around,” Rogers said. “We ask that they keep a safe distance. The eggs will be pretty spread out, too.”

For Clark, the egg hunts will consume the first two opening weeks of the farm.

“I know people want to get out and feel safe,” Clark said. “We’re very excited about opening on time this year. It’s going to be great.”

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