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By Ryann Brooks

Katie Just is hoping to help people celebrate Easter and bring a little color and joy to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just has organized the Emporia Area Quarantine Easter Egg Hunt, an event where households, businesses and organizations are invited to “hunt” for Easter eggs while practicing social distancing. People can participate by decorating eggs — as simple or elaborate as they would like to make them — and placing them in windows. Then, families can go for walks in their neighborhoods on April 11 and tally how many eggs they see along the way.

“I first saw a post on St. Patrick’s Day that encouraged people to color shamrocks for their window for kids to find,” Just said. “I thought that was a little late notice, but I absolutely wanted to do something for Easter. My daughter is almost 2, and I was deeply looking forward to attending an Easter egg hunt with her this year.”

Just said the realization that community Easter egg hunts she was hoping to attend would be postponed or canceled spurred her into action.

“Anticipating that those would not be happening, I decided to create an event on Facebook with the ambitious goal to get an Easter egg in every window for the kids of Emporia to enjoy — and that I could make into an activity with my active toddler,” she said.

Making eggs doesn’t have to take a lot of resources, she said. It can be as simple as drawing a large oval on a blank sheet of paper and cutting it out or searching for “Easter egg coloring pages” online.

“I’ve seen posts in the event that some families are making Easter eggs out of their recycling, or planning to chalk their driveways with eggs, or paint their windows,” Just said. “Really, just Google search ‘Easter egg ideas’ or ‘Easter egg coloring pages’ for best inspiration.”

Eggs can stay up as long as families want them to throughout Easter weekend, and Just encourages families to share their experiences via photos on the Facebook event page. They can also video call friends and family who may not be able to get out.

Just said with the county-wide stay-at-home orders in place through April 25, it’s important to practice social distancing if they choose to participate in the egg hunt.

“Since we want this to be a safe activity, I recommend that families go out to walk around their neighborhood whenever they would normally go out walking,” she said. “If you see others around, make sure to stay on opposing sides of the street or at least 6 feet apart.”

Find the event on Facebook by searching “Emporia Area Easter Egg Hunt” or follow www.facebook.com/events/1403282209844576 to the event.

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