Kids get set to hop into the hunt for Easter treats Saturday at Wakeman Town Farm. / Photos by Gretchen Webster
Youngsters had baskets full of fun, including from left: 18-month-old Miles Marut, 2-year-old Lucy Stephan and Madison Sheehy, 2, greeted by a very big Easter bunny.

By Gretchen Webster

WESTPORT — More than 100 hunters swarmed Wakeman Town Farm on Saturday, searching to fill their baskets full of elusive Easter bounty.

The setting was the farm’s “Eggstravaganza 2024,” where after a countdown, youngsters dashed across the field in search of their quarry — little ones full of amazement at the sight of all the multi-colored eggs, while older children focused on quickly tracking down as many eggs as they could put in their baskets. 

But there were plenty of eggs for everyone.

Brothers Grant and Andrew Ferson, photo at left, show off their baskets full of colorful eggs, while Kamran Hasaan, 3, right, was occupied trying to balance just one egg on a spoon.
Under Saturday’s sunny skies, kids enjoyed a field of fun collecting eggs at Wakeman Town Farm.

Photo at left: Youngsters got to meet alpacas in the Wakeman menagerie,  while Liam Reiser, 1½, at right, focused on the challenge of tossing bean bags through a wooden bunny target.

The egg hunt, however, wasn’t the only activity the town-owned farm had to offer at the Easter-themed event.

There were chickens and a bunny greeting visitors, and games to play — like trying to carry an egg in a spoon or tossing a bean bag into the mouth of a large wooden rabbit. The menagerie even included alpacas, gentle llama-like creatures.

Topping things off were marshmallow treats for everyone.

Photo at left: Annabelle Lott, left, and her mother, Megan, were among the bunny helpers who helped make sure the “Eggstravaganza” went smoothly. At right: Deb Lonsdale handed out sweet treats as youngsters “cashed in” the plastic eggs they found during the hunt.

Wakeman staff and volunteers were everywhere to help make the event a success. Megan Lott and her daughter Annabelle were poised at the egg hunt starting line, ready to make sure the children — many of them preschoolers — would snare their fair share of eggs.

Staff member and animal ambassador Judy Panzer stood by three of the farm’s alpacas as children greeted them. She cares for all of the farm animals, and was happy to tell the kids all about them.

Volunteers Deb Lonsdale and Mary Hoffman handed out marshmallow treats as children traded in the plastic eggs they collected for the brightly colored confections.

And Nicole Gerber, a member of the Wakeman Town Farm’s Fundraising and Sponsorship Committee, offered visitors an opportunity to “sponsor” some of the farm’s chickens. With a sponsorship, a donor gets the opportunity to name a chicken, she said.

Freelance writer Gretchen Webster, a Fairfield County journalist for many years, was editor of the Fairfield Minuteman and has taught journalism at New York and Southern Connecticut State universities.