Brandt’s plan to get Eldon residents out and about in the parks has been a success.

Michael Brandt, Eldon Parks and Recreation might be an evil genius.  He has every park in town packed with people searching for hidden golden easter eggs. Brandt’s plan to get Eldon residents out and about in the parks has been a success with hundreds of people every day since the egg hunt was announced,  looking high and low in all of the city’s parks to find the coveted grand prize. 

While teams are practicing soccer, and families are picnicking unaware, there are groups of those with their heads down walking for hours looking for the elusive egg. 

Why is this egg so special?  It’s packed with hundreds of dollars worth of gift certificates from area merchants and the parks and recreation department. The lucky winner will receive a Family Pool Pass, 1 Pavilion Rental, 2 Gift Certificates to the Pool Concession stand, 1 Entry into the 4th of July 5K, and 1 Youth Sport entry fee along with a stash of other winnings. The goal is to promote the city’s parks and recreation department and family fun. 

“I was having a conversation with my Grounds and Maintenance employee Justin Burrows and we were talking about mulch at the Parks around the playground equipment. Justin mentioned us digging and finding something crazy like a Golden Egg. It was at that moment I knew what I was going to do for the citizens for Easter,” Brandt said.

Some of the local churches do a Easter Hunt Egg for the kids and Brandt didn't want to interfere with that so he came up with the Golden easter egg hunt that would be something the entire family could get out and do together. 

“This would allow people to go to our parks and  get their exercise. We have focused so much on health and wellness with all of our parks and projects and this would allow everyone the opportunity to enjoy the facilities and the beautiful weather,” he said. 

Once Brandt had hidden the first egg, the fun began. Once that first egg was found, he did a second. That was when local merchants got involved and started asking to donate. 

“It didn't take long for this egg’s value to exceed $600 worth of prizes. We will continue to give clues out until this Friday and if no one finds it by Sunday, we will show everyone where it is and all prizes will go back into the prize vault.”  

The first Golden Egg was hidden last week and many searched relentlessly until it was found. Egg hunters have to find clues on the department’s Facebook page and decipher where it is hidden. The prize pack with the first egg was worth $350. 

With the countdown to Easter just days away, this week’s egg has eluded hunters since April 12. Despite hundreds of daily sleuths, as of April 19, the location of the egg was still a mystery.  

The Facebook page is filled with comments from those who have spent hours on their fitbits searching.  Some report they are giving up on the quest, due to sheer exhaustion.  As soon as they do, the third clue given by Brandt taunts those that are throwing in the towel  

“A few hours of searching you’re going to give up? The Easter Bunny is laughing at you while drinking coffee from his cup.  Many of you are off to a decent start, however if I were you, I would scratch off Rock Island Park.”  

Brandt is definitely enjoying the egg hunt frenzy. 

“I think that is awesome that all families are walking around the Parks here in town and spending time with each other and making memories. For me, that's what it is all about.,” he said.