Okay, so you go to an Easter egg hunt, maybe the best Easter egg hunt this side of the Mississippi River, and you pick up a whole bunch of eggs with candy or a prize voucher stuffed inside.
Ever wonder how those things get in there?
Bill Brudigan can tell you.
The Blair man has spent plenty of winter nights this year stuffing eggs for the Easter egg hunt at Master’s Hand Candle Co. on Saturday. The hunt is part of Tekamah business’ annual Spring Fling, which is traditionally held on the Saturday before Easter. This year, It’s this Saturday, April 20.
Brudigan said he’s been filling the eggs, well over 20,000 a year, the last two or three years.
He retired from running an implement dealership in Wayne a few years ago and he and his wife Sandra moved to Blair. His oldest daughter and Master’s Hand proprietor Susie Robison were best friends as children going to school at Winside.
“After we moved here, Susie called and wondered if I’d be interested in doing some mowing for them and I started taking care of a lot of outside stuff,” Brudigam said. “Pretty soon it grew to include anything that didn’t take a lot of smarts.”
After stuffing eggs at the store for awhile, he suggested it would be a lot easier to do it at home.
So he did.
Somebody else handles stuffing the 1,000 or so prize-filled eggs. Brudigan said he has plenty to do just filling the candy-stuffed ones.
He said this year was easier because most of the eggs are new so they didn’t have to be cleaned first. For weeks he carefully opened each egg and put a piece of candy inside, then just as carefully taped the eggs back shut. They’re taped to withstand the rigors of egg hunt life—being tossed around in preparation of the hunt and knocked around even more after being scooped up by hunters.
“It’s a good winter job,” the affable Brudigan said. “I’ve gotten extremely lazy. I watch TV and fill eggs.”
The eggs all go into a large plastic bag which will hold about 200 eggs. The bags are then placed into large boxes, the same boxes Master’s Hand receives fresh cut flowers in. They’re known as casket boxes because of their size. About six sacks fill a box. He had 15 boxes filled with one more and part of another yet to do when visited by a reporter last week.
Brudigan said he’d start bringing them back to Tekamah this week, bringing two or three boxes at a time.
The egg hunt is the main attraction at Spring Fling. Hunts for different age groups are slated for every half hour, starting at 10 a.m. when 0-2-year-olds get their turn.
Other times age ages include: 10:30, 3-4 years; 11, 5-6 years; 11:30, 7-8 years; 12 noon, 9-12 years; 1 p.m., 13 through adult. The 1 p.m. shift is the only hunt for the oldest age group and a variety of age appropriate prizes are available for them, too.
At 1:30 the schedule restarts with 0-2 year-olds. Then its 3-4 years at 2; 5-6 years at 2:30, 7-8 yeas at 3 and wrapping up with 9-12 year-olds at 3:30.
But its more than Easter eggs.
New to the lineup this year is Critter Close Ups, an exotic animal educational program run by Jodi Osborne of Herman. Among the many animals that make up the program is her Capuchin monkey, Dexter, who will be part of Saturday’s program.
Tekamah Lions Club will be selling food on the grounds, appearances will be made by Queen Elsa, Princess Anna and Olaf and other characters. Also on the bill are face painting, bounce houses, slides and obstacle courses, train rides and a host of family-friendly fun.