By 1812Blockhouse

Every spring, thousands of area children descend on selected sites around Richland County to participate in the time-honored tradition of Easter Egg hunts and rolls.

These events have possible roots with the Reformer Martin Luther, who would hide eggs at this time of the year for his followers. The tradition has grown over the centuries; in a successful attempt to be included in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1985, Homer Georgia hosted a hunt with 80,000 eggs to find in a town of just 950 inhabitants.

A close cousin to Easter Egg hunts are Easter Egg rolls. The chief “roll” is that which takes place on the White House lawn. According to tradition, the first was hosted by First Lady Dolley Madison; this year’s version is set for Monday, April 18 on the South Lawn.

Mansfield and Richland County have been holding hunts for over 100 years. In 1930, for instance, a hunt was held at South Park sponsored by the Ohio Theatre management (today’s Renaissance Theatre). The event began at 9:30 AM on Saturday, April 19, and started from the pavilion, with over 500 eggs being hidden around the park.

There were sure to be disappointed children, however, as the 500 eggs were set upon by “several thousand” local children!

Richland County has its fair share of hunts in the two weeks leading up to Easter Sunday. A list of those events can be found here.

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