Some years ago, a group of engineering students at Purdue University created a machine mimicking the human tongue and discovered it took an average of 364 licks to reach the center of a certain type of lollipop. A score of the students themselves assumed the challenge and came up with 224 licks.
On Saturday morning, a question in a somewhat similar vein was posed in Perry’s Wiese Park: How long would it take approximately 100 children, ranging in age from 2 to 8 years old, to collect nearly 2,000 candy, toy and surprise-filled plastic eggs? The answer: Less than 30 seconds.
Hosted by the Perry Parks and Recreation Department and sponsored by Ben Franklin, Casey’s General Stores, Hy-Vee and Tyson Fresh Meats, the annual Easter Egg Hunt drew a warren of excited youngsters eager to collect their share of the bounty.
The rabbit responsible for all the fun made an appearance as well, as the Easter Bunny hopped onto a bench to pose for photographs with the all ages. Some saw the lupine bringing of treats as imposing as Kris Kringle, but most eagerly sat alongside their long-eared benefactor as moms and dads snapped away.
Three large sections were marked off by age group and filled with eggs. The 2-4 year-old crowd had their own hunting ground, as did ages 5-6 and 7-8.
Eggs were filled with candy, small toys or gift coupons and were swiftly and expertly gathered into baskets, buckets, sacks, pockets — whatever worked best.
The strategies at play ranged widely among the age groups. The older kids — old pros as they were — had mentally chosen high-density areas to rush to at the signal starting the hunt.
By contrast, the 5-6 year old group attacked the challenge in a wave, scooping as they went, while the youngest tots often needed encouragement to keep going, as simply plopping down in the grass to open each egg as it was collected was a strong temptation.
Sources inside the rabbit hole indicate the Easter Bunny will be extraordinarily busy in the wee hours of Sunday morning. If the joy he delivered to Wiese Park is repeated in homes across Perry, smiles, laughter and the infectious joy and wonderment of youth will be gathered by the basketful.