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Community picnic, egg hunt attract thousands

Families from across the valley flocked to two separate Easter celebrations this past weekend.

On Saturday, a community picnic and egg hunt was sponsored by the NyE Communities Coalition Holiday Task Force, the Town of Pahrump and Pahrump Disability Outreach Program (PDOP).

The event coincided with the town’s annual Earth Day observance and a special skateboard ministry group at the skate park.

PDOP co-founder David Boruchowitz said he was quite surprised and pleased by the huge turnout, which he estimated to be several thousand strong.

“It was really, really good. I was trying to visualize what the actual attendance was using our annual Pumpkin Days event. I’m going to guess that we had maybe 4,000 people there because it was very well-attended,” he said.

Boruchowitz noted that the Earth Day event worked quite well as both events seemed to blend nicely throughout the day.

“It was all coordinated through NyE Communities Coalition and it really united the whole park. PDOP did the egg hunt, the train, as well as the cotton candy and kettle corn. Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and Desert View Hospital provided all of the burgers and hot dogs while the coalition put the whole thing together. It was really cool to see all of the different facets within the community come together,” he said.

Along with the barbecue and egg hunting, several area vendors provided a bounce house and face painting.

Bins for recycling used electronics and ink cartridges were also part of the Earth Day event.

Representatives with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension set up a booth where officials taught attendees about various plants species all while letting kids plant a flower or a vegetable to take home.

Visitors were also afforded the opportunity to adopt a pet and get information on the annual Pahrump Town Clean-up.

The PDOP co-founder remained quite busy as he found himself at the controls of the popular “mini train ride” in the middle of the park throughout the day.

He noted that if it were not for the efforts of all of the organizations, the event may never have gotten off the ground after it was initially cancelled due to lack of funding and scheduling conflicts several months back.

“The last thing we wanted is for some of the kids not to have an Easter egg hunt. The previous group first organized the egg hunt at Petrack Park,” he said.”

Regarding next year, Boruchowitz said it’s likely that PDOP and the other agencies will step up once again for the town’s Community Easter Picnic.

“We definitely anticipate we will work with all of those organizations to do another event for Easter. I think we need to fix a few things for the egg hunt because we noticed there was some instances of kids pushing other kids and crowd control on Saturday, because the crowds were much bigger than we expected. It was our first year doing this and an egg hunt is a little different than a pumpkin patch,” he said.

Additionally, NyE Communities Coalition’s One-Stop Manager Tim Wigchers spoke of an event next month for any local resident who is interested in attending.

“Our holiday task force is meeting on Monday, May 5, at the coalition’s campus on 1020 E. Wilson at 8:30 a.m. to wrap up the Easter Picnic and begin plans for the Community Thanksgiving Dinner. None of these events would happen without generous donations, resources and the services of volunteers,” Wigchers said.

In addition to Saturday afternoon activities, a local family offered a community-wide Easter celebration on Sunday.

The Selbach Family Easter Carnival at Simkins Park started out as just an intimate family gathering many years ago.

This year, the entire community was invited to take part in Easter Day festivities.

The day began with a church service and ended with a huge Easter egg hunt for local children.

Games and prizes were also up for grabs at the park.

Business owner Cassandra Selbach said her family wanted to continue what her father, Daniel Mills, started many years ago.

“I think it was just amazing. I’m guessing around 500 to 600 people came out. We tried to get a head count but there was really no accurate way to count them all. We had some great entertainment by the Way Worship Team. The games were fantastic. We played the egg on the spoon game and of course the egg toss which is always a favorite. The piggy back races were a lot of fun too,” she said.

Roughly 7,000 toy, candy and “golden eggs” were hidden throughout the 8.7-acre park.

The golden eggs contained cash.

One local parent, Nancy Ivy, said though her children did not find any golden eggs, her family had a great time celebrating Easter Sunday with the community.

“I think this is really cool. I had no idea they were going to do this. We didn’t find any of the golden eggs but we kind of started late. The bigger kids kind of combed over everything but it was still very nice,” she said.

Selbach noted that she is still not sure if all of the golden eggs were recovered on Sunday.

“You never know. There have been many years where we have found a golden egg from the year before. I’m thinking that I might take my kids back out there next weekend,” she said with a laugh.

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