In their Easter bonnets

Published 10:13 am Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Star Photo/Brandon Hicks Mackenzie Whigham grabs an egg from the fence.

Students in the Early Learning Center donned their Easter bonnets and set off on a parade around town followed by an egg hunt to celebrate spring and the upcoming Easter holiday.

The 4- and 5-year-old students started their day with an Easter bonnet parade at the Elizabethton City Schools central office and then through downtown Elizabethton to give the businesses a chance to take in their creative hats.

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“It is a great tradition,” ELC teacher Susan Dugger said. “The students decorate their hats or bonnets and then get to show them off around town.”

Students in all four of the ELC classes created their own special Easter hats. Some of the classes decorated hats at school, while others had the task completed at home, Dugger said.

“There was so much originality in the hats,” Dugger said. “The parents get to help and the students get a chance to show of their creativity.”

The style of hats ranged from the simple to the elaborate with hats piled high with decorations.

Bo Armstrong opted for a simpler Easter hat for the parade.

“It looks like a bunny with sunglasses,” Bo said of his hat. “It’s cool.”

Alexis Parlier made her Easter bonnet with her grandmother. Her bonnet featured a bunny, some eggs and grass and a butterfly.

“It’s pretty and it’s Easter,” Alexis said.

Caroline Morganstern filled every inch of space on her bonnet with decorations. Her Easter hat included baby chickens, eggs, Easter grass, sparkly garland and feathers.

“It took a while,” Caroline said. “I think it is pretty and it goes together.”

After the parade through downtown wrapped up, the students made their way to Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park for a picnic lunch and the Early Learning Center’s annual Easter Egg Hunt.

Hundreds of colorful plastic Easter eggs were scattered through the inside of Fort Watauga for the 80 students to find.

“It’s something happy we do to celebrate spring and the season,” Dugger said. “The children enjoy it, and it’s something we do every year.”

The egg hunt only lasted a few minutes once the children were allowed to go after the eggs. After collecting their limit of eggs, the students sat down to examine their finds.

“Look at all the eggs I got,” Aubrey Cline said. “I’ve got toys and candy. I got the golden egg. It came from a golden goose and has candy in it.”

Jesse Chatman collected many unique eggs, but his favorite was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles one.

“It has Raph on it,” Jesse said. “I got another turtle one, too. I like them all.”

Chloe Brown was amazed by how many eggs were waiting to be found at the fort.

“I didn’t know there could be so many eggs,” Chloe said. “It was fun.”

Kaylee Stevens took a break after searching for her eggs by having a piece of candy as a snack.

“I had fun and I got these chocolate eggs,” Kaylee said. “I’m going to eat one right now. I didn’t pick up all the eggs. I saved some for the other kids.”

Once the students were finished with the egg hunt, teachers made sure each child had only kept their limit of 13 eggs and the extras were evenly distributed.