Madawaska rec department strikes chord with ‘Egg My Yard’ Easter celebration

MADAWASKA, Maine — What began as an idea to replace a town Easter tradition has become a St. John Valley-wide egg hunt led by Madawaska’s Parks and Recreation department.

In two weeks, department directors Diane Boucher and Sam Cyr will tour from Grand Isle to Wallagrass, hiding eggs in participating residents’ yards. The idea was originally to help Madawaskans to enjoy a pandemic-safe holiday celebration, but its popularity rapidly spread.

“All morning I’ve been taking requests,” Boucher said. 

Bags of Easter eggs sit outside the Madawaska Parks and Recreation Department waiting to be distributed to dozens of families across the St. John Valley. (Hannah Catlin | St. John Valley Times)

As of March 18, the department had received requests from 40 households to distribute 3,200 eggs, with calls still coming in. Of that, the school district requested 1,000 eggs to put in elementary schoolers’ lunches. 

In participating towns — Grand Isle, Madawaska, Frenchville, St. Agatha, Fort Kent and Wallagrass — residents can request between 20 and 100 eggs to be hidden in their yards. Rates start at $5 and end at $20 with a $5 out of town fee. Each egg contains either a small toy or a piece of candy.

When they first promoted the idea on Facebook, neither Boucher nor Cyr expected it to take off the way it has. They’ve had to make a number of additional orders for Easter eggs since then, having maxed out their supply several times over. They’ve even received a call from Fort Fairfield’s recreation department requesting to use the idea.

“We’ve got our hands full,” Cyr said. 

Interested participants can register until March 24 by calling the parks and recreation department. Any proceeds that don’t pay for the eggs themselves will go to Madawaska’s youth activity fund.

A small toy frog is hidden in one of the 3,000 plus Easter eggs the Madawaska parks and recreation department will deliver to families across the St. John Valley in two weeks. (Hannah Catlin | St. John Valley Times)

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