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Community hunts and hops toward Easter

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Roswell youth gather plastic eggs, some that entitled kids to special prizes, during one of the seven hunts held Saturday at Cielo Grande Recreation Area during an event organized by Gateway International Church of Roswell. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

A day before many people will head to area churches for Easter services, a local church once again held its popular Community Easter Egg Hunt.

Gateway International Church of Roswell organizes the annual free event at Cielo Grande Recreation Area on West College Boulevard.

Pastor Rick Rapp said the day began with talk about Jesus’ resurrection and prayer, and that the kid-oriented activities are a way to “love on the people of Roswell the way that Jesus has loved on us.”

About 1,190 people had attended in the first two and a half hours of the four-hour celebration. Seven egg hunts were held for kids in different age categories with some eggs tied to special prizes, but the event also included face-painting, dancing, photos with superheroes or Disney characters, bouncy houses, balloon animals made by Disney princesses, bumper balls and sack hop races. Youth also could run a police siren and sit inside a squad car while talking with a Roswell police officer, use a fire hose with the help of Roswell firefighters and rock climb while meeting National Guard personnel.