HARKER HEIGHTS — Emma Thompson ran across the grass field to her sister, Alyssa Lugo. Wearing a black Easter dress with bright pink flowers, the 19-month-old toddler plopped down as she struggled to open a pastel-colored plastic egg.

“It was her first Easter to do anything,” said the girls’ mother, Becky Thompson.

The family kicked-off Easter weekend Friday during the 18th annual Easter egg hunt Friday at the Community Park Ball Fields. The festivities continued with a service on Saturday, but the celebrations they have planned today is what they’ve been looking forward to all March.

The family’s been making their own eggs filled with glitter and powder for two decades. After eggs filled with paper confetti became popular in stores a few years ago, Thompson said the family stopped filling their own hollowed-out frail white egg shells with glitter, which is hard to get out of hair. Still, they look forward to painting hard-boiled, plastic and confetti-filled eggs every year.

“I just like the whole bonding moment with (my family),” Lugo said. “I get to spend time with (them). It’s really fun to get to paint the eggs myself and make them instead of going out and buying them. It’s different. You’re putting effort and memories into making it.”

About 40 family members plan to gather to enjoy a big meal, chase and attack each other with confetti-filled eggs and search for hard-boiled and painted eggs as well as eggs filled with candy or money.

“(In the past) we hid them in trees. We hid them in plants,” Thompson said, adding one year bugs made their home over an egg that was hidden in bushes.

Thompson said they use hundreds of eggs every year and the festivities get intense.

“The dining table is the safe place, but somehow we end up getting in trouble anyway,” she said. “Even the adults, because we want to get that one person and even if they’re in the safe place we ignore that. We will tag team and form alliances in order to get you.”

Instead of celebrating throughout the weekend, Natalia Sanchez said she prefers a simple few hours of entertainment.

Pregnant with her second girl who is due in June, Sanchez said she enjoyed spending time with family and friends and watching her daughter, Ariana, 3, search for eggs hidden in a sand pit at the park.

“We do Easter egg hunts every year. We like to do them,” Sanchez said. “(During Ariana’s) first Easter, she was 3 months. We just do an egg hunt and a family dinner.”

Contact Sarah Rafique at srafique@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7549. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SarahRafique

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