When the Easter bunny rolled up in a bright red 1963 Ford Falcon Futura, it fueled the eggs-citement Saturday at the 63rd annual Easter egg hunt sponsored by the Greens Farms Volunteer Fire Co.
The bounding bunny was joined at Long Lots School by police officers, who brought a cruiser for youngsters to take turns sitting behind the wheel and sounding the siren.
Members of the Fire Company were also on hand, coordinating the activities, spreading candy across the field and staggering the egg hunt by age groups. The hunts began with the younger children first on up to the eldest. In all, $500 worth of candy (four boxes for each age group) was up for grabs. Ice cream was the icing on the event for all the young hunters.
Four eggs in each group held special tickets that could be redeemed for gift baskets.
Bill Vornkahl, treasurer and longtime member of the Greens Farms company, said the hunt was initiated back in 1951 by John Gudzik and Mike Horn. "They were volunteer firefighters and both past presidents of the fire company," he said.
Though both Gudzik and Horn are deceased, Gudzik's son, Mike, and Mike's wife, Carol, are among the group that has continued to coordinate the event year after year.
"It's a great way to get families out together on Easter weekend," said Vornkahl. "Fortunately, we have a great sunny day."
Vornkahl noted the weather hasn't always been so cooperative. "We used to hold this event at Greens Farms School until renovation work moved the site to Long Lots. We had such bad weather on a couple of occasions that the hunt had to be moved inside to the gym," he said.
First Selectman Jim Marpe was also on hand, calling the event one of the great traditions in town. "I remember bringing my own daughter here," he said. "It was fun then, and fun now."