HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Hundreds of families attended the annual Holyoke spring celebration Saturday morning. Families enjoyed Easter egg hunts, face painting, pony rides and more in the Holyoke Heritage State Park.
Parks and recreation director Teresa Shepard said as kids were hunting for thousands of eggs Saturday, they had one volunteer to thank in particular.
Shepard said “Carol O’Donnell has been stuffing our six thousand eggs, she does it every year. This is probably about her tenth year, and after the hunt, we ask the kids to recycle our eggs. She takes them all back and cleans them and gets them ready for next year”.
Community members, parks and recreation staff, and volunteers from the boys and girls club and the new horizons center have been working since February to make Saturday’s spring celebration a success.
Gustavo Romero, a parks and rec staff member, spent the last month painting springtime murals for kids to take photos with. He said the smiles Saturday morning made it all worth the struggle. Romero said “I have albinism, and that comes with a load of defaults and stuff like that, vision being one of them.” It still presented itself with it’s challenges, and I think I overcame them”.
Romero’s kid’s reactions Saturday made him ready to do it all over again. Planning projects for Christmas and Halloween. Romero said “The feeling of accomplishment you get from you know, seeing pretty faces smiling, kids laughter. It’s a real enjoyment. It brings artwork to another level when people can enjoy it”.
The efforts of the many staff and volunteers were appreciated by kids and parents alike.
Maria Modero said “You don’t have a lot of people out here that are willing to spend the time to bring this event together and to bring people together. Just to see that, it really puts a smile on my face”.