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Enjoying the best of both worlds

Hidden in bushes, between purple flowers and under thick grass were over 500 oval treasures awaiting the eager eyes of children to find them.

One minute quiet, the next minute the fields swarmed with children in black patent shoes and Easter dresses, with Easter baskets in hand, feverishly searching for every egg they could find.

Community members and church members attended Liberty Springs Christian Church’s 4th annual Easter Festival on Saturday for an afternoon of Easter fun and lessons.

“It brings the joy of Easter and an opportunity to spread the message about Easter to people in the community,” pastor Allen Lancaster said. “The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the focal point.”

“We didn’t want to do it without the emphasis of what it’s all about,” said Darlene Lancaster, his wife. “We enjoy giving the children a fun time, but we also get to the meaning of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior.”

The Whaleyville church has held an Easter egg hunt for years, Darlene said, but beginning four years ago the church began holding a full-blown festival with face painting, several games, prizes, snacks, stories and singing.

This year, Darlene put together 32 Easter baskets to give to attendees and volunteers stuffed over 500 plastic eggs.

“It’s a lot of manpower, but I love it,” Darlene said. “I just love it.”

Numbers would indicate, the community does, too.

Last year, 60 or so attended, this year, though, there were 138 participated.

One family even made a trek from Indiana to attend.

“We wouldn’t have missed it,” said Misty Gibbons, whose eight children were in attendance. “We love this place. We try to come home two to three times a year, and things worked out this year that we were able to here for this. The babies were so excited.”