Josh Peters covered in mud
Josh Peters, a Philomath High School student, won $10 out of Chris Workman’s wallet for muddiest participant. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

The Community Easter Egg Hunt at the rodeo grounds Saturday morning appeared to be a success. Local children had an opportunity to get outside and have fun looking for plastic eggs with little prizes inside, parents could add fresh images to their family photo albums and even the older kids had an opportunity to get a little crazy sliding through the mud for a $10 payoff.

Philomath Frolic & Rodeo deserves a big pat on the back for organizing this free event for the community. That organization’s volunteers had to scramble over the past couple of weeks to take over this annual opportunity for Easter fun when they found out that the previous organizer stepped back.

Toddler looking inside plastic egg
A toddler takes a look inside of her plastic Easter egg. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

For the most part, our lives have opened back up and these types of events are now being offered. But it struck me that this could be one of the first times that many of the families out there on Saturday had a chance to do something like that together. Sure, it’s maybe 5 minutes of walking through a field looking for plastic eggs, but the smiles on the children’s faces were priceless.

For the youngest of the participants, the Easter egg hunt might’ve been a very new experience. My own 2-year-old was among the toddlers out there and I believe that’s the most people he’s ever been around for a fun activity. My 4-year-old was there as well and he was extremely excited. We just haven’t had a whole lot of these family experiences together.

I’ll admit it — I’m a big fan of the Frolic & Rodeo folks. These are good people that care about the community. Remember the first year of the pandemic? They organized a fireworks show to give us something to enjoy during what had been a long summer. And last year, they committed to offering the full Frolic experience when others around the state felt like they needed to cancel.

The Philomath Frolic & Rodeo queen hands out candy. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

The “mud hunt” was an interesting idea and from what I could tell, most of the participants were teenagers. I didn’t take note of who found the $50 egg but I do know Josh Peters really wanted to win $10. You see, emcee Chris Workman came up with an idea in the moment to take $10 out of his wallet for the muddiest competitor.

All of a sudden, kids were doing swan dives in the muddiest spots in the arena. Peters went so far as to pick up clumps of muddy grass and rub them into his neck and head area to complete his efforts to take the prize.

I was very happy to see our local basketball star, Sage Kramer, getting muddy and enjoying herself. I’m so used to seeing her game face as she prepares for a basketball game or a volleyball match. I don’t know — might sound strange, but it was fun to have an opportunity to just see her being a kid in that setting.

Have a great rest of your Easter weekend.

(Brad Fuqua is publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He can be reached at

Brad Fuqua has covered the Philomath area since 2014 as the editor of the now-closed Philomath Express and currently as publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He has worked as a professional journalist since 1988 at daily and weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Arizona, Montana and Oregon.