First Annual Easter Egg Hunt
1923 photos from the archives of Collegiate Presbyterian Church
Pastor Dr. L. Myron Boozer of Collegiate Presbyterian Church suggested in 1923 an Easter egg hunt on Iowa State campus for children of the congregation. The next year the church decided to open the event to all Ames children, making the event an annual affair. Ames children knew where they wanted to be when the chimes of the Iowa State Campanile struck two o'clock on the Saturday before Easter.
Collegiate Presbyterian church sponsored the first eight years before turning the operations over to the Boy Scouts and Camp Fire Girls. As the event grew, the church continued to be involved, but assistance was eventually provided by the Ames Jaycees, Fire Department, Ames schools, the Iowa State Home Economics staff, and the Interstate Transit Lines.
In 1954 the annual Easter egg hunt was moved from central campus to the Ranch Drive-In.
Tribune and Ames Evening Times, March 31, 1926
COMPLETE PLANS FOR EASTER EGG HUNT HERE - Plans for the Easter egg hunt to be held on the campus of Iowa State college Saturday, April 3, are going forward despite the weather conditions. Should the snow remain on the ground, however, or if it be stormy, the hunt will be postponed and the eggs held in cold storage until April 10, the Rev. L. M. Boozer announced today.
Present plans call for children of the first six grades of the schools to gather on the campus north of the sidewalk between Central building and Agricultural hall. Children of pre-school age will gather at the west end of the walk; children of the first, second and third grades will meet at the flag staff; and the fourth, fifth and sixth grade children will meet at the east end in front of Ag. hall.
Offers of colored eggs are still being received, but others who wish to contribute to the children's fun may phone the office of the Collegiate Presbyterian church, 1350, and tell how many eggs they will boil, color and deliver to the church Friday.
Merchants have again offered numerous prizes for marked eggs and the event promises to be as interesting as in the years past. Parents are urged to accompany the children.
The hunt will begin promptly at two o'clock. Children of nearby rural schools are as welcome as Ames children, Mr. Boozer states.
This photo faces west towards Music Hall, north of Lake LaVerne
Tribune-Times, April 17, 1930
Final plans are complete for the annual Easter egg hunt, sponsored by the Collegiate Presbyterian church, which will be held Saturday afternoon... Those in charge of the hunt said Thursday that there would be plenty of eggs for every child. Parents will be asked to remain back and let the children do the hunting. Attendants will be furnished for the younger children.
There will be over 800 prizes given by merchants of Ames to finders of the eggs. Persons desiring to contribute eggs should deliver them to the church not later than Friday evening. All eggs should be hard boiled. Those who wish to give eggs but are unable to deliver them are asked to call Morris J. Schock at 595-W....
This photo looks east from a spot north of the Memorial Union.
Tribune-Times, March 26, 1932
...The eggs were to be hidden away over the campus by Boy Scouts at 1 o'clock Saturday, preparatory to the hunt for children under 12 years of age, at 2 o'clock, as the clock in the campanile strikes the hour...
Three prizes for this contest have been donated: First, pair [of] roller skates by Christensen Hardware company; second, child's paint set by Miller Paint store; third, box of candy, by Howard Adams Candy Kettle.
Tribune-Times, March 28, 1932
Between 1,000 and 2,000 children romped about the Iowa State college campus Saturday afternoon, in the tenth annual Easter egg hunt, sponsored for the past two years by the Ames boy scout organization.
Little tots, some barely able to toddle on their own, scampered about the small area in the vicinity of a pup tent erected near the campanile, while groups of various ages up to 12 years ran excitedly over other parts of the campus searching for the brightly colored eggs Each age group was allotted its own territory.
A total of 4,308 eggs, or 359 dozen, were donated and distributed about the campus, according to Scout Executive C. R. Hesse. There were 1,600 prizes, the largest number ever donated by Ames merchants for this event since it was inaugurated 10 years ago by Dr. L. Myron Boozer when he was pastor of the Collegiate Presbyterian church. The church carried on the event each year until last year, when it was turned over to the boy scouts.
The large number of prizes, all small in value, came as the result of the careful solicitation made by R. B. Balcom, a scoutmaster, who gave his full time for two or three days in soliciting every business in Ames.
An egg rolling contest in which children from 12 to 14 years participated, was won by two girls and one boy. The boy took third place. This event was supervised by B. J. Firkins. The winners were: first, Eula Hiland, Central school; second, Wanda McCasky, Central school; third, Max Strain, Welch school.
Eggs for the hunt were donated thru school children at all schools, while a number were left at the city fire station. Roosevelt school collected the largest number, 119 dozen. Welch school was second with 65 dozen, and Louise Crawford school third with 50 dozen. The eggs were collected Friday afternoon by a truck donated by the Palmer Plumbing Company.
Camp fire girls, students and adults aided in marking eggs in the basement of the Collegiate Presbyterian church, Friday night. Some of the sororities aided in coloring eggs. The dormitories donated a small cash fund for the purchase of eggs. The scout fraternity at Iowa State, boy scouts and their leaders assisted in handling the children, with the Rev. Walter Barlow in charge of the little tots under four years old. Ames police patrolled Lincoln way to handle traffic during the afternoon.
The weather lent kindly aid in making the event a success. Clouds and a cold wind early Saturday did not augur well for the affair, but the sun broke thru during the morning, and both the atmosphere and the ground were ideal for the event at the hour it started, 2 o’clock.
During the 10 years the East egg hunt has been held, it has been abandoned only once due to inclement weather. On that occasion one child volunteered to help sweep the snow from the campus.
Tribune-Times, April 11, 1933
11TH ANNUAL EGG HUNT SATURDAY - The eleventh annual Easter egg hunt for Ames children will take place Saturday afternoon on the Iowa State college campus, under the direction of the Boy Scout and Camp Fire Girls organizations. Nearly 2,000 children took part in the even last year, romping about the campus hunting eggs which had been hidden away by scouts in advance of the event. A large number of prizes not over 10 cents in value were contributed by Ames merchants...
School children are asked to bring boiled eggs to school not later than Thursday where they will be collected by trucks of the Palmer Plumbing company, and marked on Friday. Eggs will be received at all the schools, including St. Cecilia's Catholic school, and also at the downtown and fourth ward fire stations.
It is asked that eggs be colored in advance if possible, but uncolored eggs also will be accepted. The Easter egg hunt was originated in Ames by the Collegiate Presbyterian church, which continues to take an active interest in the event. While first started for the children of that church, it has developed into an all-community affair, and for the past two years the Boy Scouts and Camp Fire Girls have been the chief sponsors. An egg-rolling contest was added last spring....
|Ames Daily Tribune and Times,
April 15, 1938
PROGRAM FOR EASTER EGG HUNT IS SET - About
3,000 eggs, cooked and colored, were ready to be marked for the 1,500 prizes
which will be offered by Ames merchants Saturday afternoon to the finders
of the eggs in the fourteenth annual Easter egg hunt on the Iowa State
college campus. The eggs, cooked and colored by members of the home
economics staff at Iowa State college, will be hid on the west side of
the campus by Ames Boy Scouts in the morning, the hunt to start at 2 p.m.
Regardless of weather, the annual Easter egg hunt for children 12 years and under residing in Ames and vicinity will be held on the Iowa State college campus starting at 2 p.m., Saturday, it was announced Friday by Ken Wells, chairman. Because the Saturday before Easter has always been the day for this hunt since it was started 14 years ago, the hunt will be held on that day. The eggs will be hidden outdoors in the hopes that predicted rain will not be falling when the hunt starts....
Included in the many prizes to be offered are four airplane rides over the city by Marion Wearth, local aviator. One ride will be offered as a prize in each of the four age divisions of the hunt....
Transportation to the college will be furnished by the Interstate Transit Lines to those not having transportation of their own. Busses will leave the senior high school on Clark avenue at 1:30 p.m., and will return downtown at 3:15 p.m.
Prize lists on which will be printed the number to correspond with the lucky numbers of the eggs will be placed in store windows, and finders of eggs will check the numbers with these lists and then call at the store offering the prize.
Assisting the Ames Junior Chamber of Commerce in staging this annual event here are Ames Camp Fire Girls and Boy Scouts and Iowa State college.
|Ames Daily Tribune, April
EASTER EGG HUNT SUNDAY AT DRIVE-IN - A giant Easter egg hunt will be staged Sunday at the Ranch Drive-in theater west of Ames on Highway 30. It is the only event of its kind planned in Ames this year and will have hundreds of prizes given by merchants of Ames to lucky winners in the search for eggs and other hidden treasures at the theater.
Finders of lucky eggs will receive their prizes by taking the eggs to the stores donating the prizes. More than 800 prizes will be awarded. The policy of the Ranch theater is that children 11 or younger are admitted free when accompanied by adults. However, everyone from 5 to 85 has a chance for a lot of fun watching the children scramble for "treasures."
The doors will open at 5 p.m. and the hunt will start promptly at 6 p.m.