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Hundreds of youngsters join the hunt in Round Lake

Round Lake Beach-3/23/13 Sat./Harts Hill Kaitlyn Straetz 4 Round Lake ready for Easter Egg Hunt Saturday Harts Hills Round Lake

Round Lake Beach-3/23/13, Sat./Harts Hill Kaitlyn Straetz, 4, of Round Lake ready for Easter Egg Hunt Saturday at Harts Hills in Round Lake Beach. | Joe Shuman~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 24, 2013 1:43AM

This year’s fickle spring couldn’t keep hundreds of kids from scrambling en masse in the annual Easter Egg Hunt at Harts Hill Park in Round Lake on Saturday.

With bright sunshine and the temperature above freezing, mud was more of a culprit than snow during the mad dash, which was over in minutes with most participants averaging a haul of 15 colorful, plastic, prized-filled eggs.

The Easter Bunny kept an eye on the hundreds of children gathering eggs, well aware that she would be their next destination after the last egg was gathered.

“I’m not so much nervous as excited,” said the bunny (AKA 15-year-old Maddi Desens of Round Lake inside the costume). “It’s so nice to be with the little kids, watching them have fun and seeing their reactions.”

Maddi’s mother, Jessica, a recreation supervisor with the host Round Lake Park District, said she estimated close to 1,000 parents and children attended the popular event Saturday morning.

She said the park district usually uses the hill at the park for the egg hunt, but officials decided against it this year due to snow and icy conditions, and settled for an area at the base of the hill instead.

The kids didn’t seem to mind.

“Chaos,” is how 6-year-old Kyle Steckenrider of Round Lake described the lightning-fast hunt. “I got about 15 or 14 eggs.”

“I like picking the eggs because there’s candy inside,” said Kyle’s younger sister Bethany.

Candy wasn’t the only prize waiting inside the eggs.

“I’m trying to win a pass to the pool,” said 7-year-old Kayden Savage of Lake Villa, who said her sister won a pass at last year’s event. “I got maybe 28 (eggs). It was crowded.”

“It was really exciting and fun,” said 7-year-old Gabriel Salinas.

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