Homer is among the earliest to hold the world record for an Easter egg hunt. The town is listed in the 1985 Guinness Book of World Records where 80,000 eggs were distributed on the Garrison’s family property.
Even though it no longer holds the record, Homer has long celebrated its annual hunt as the world's largest.
On Saturday, April 1, it was estimated that there were 2,000 visitors that took part in the eggstravaganza. The egg hunt was sponsored by the Town of Homer and Homer Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and it was presented by Due Time Ranch. The event featured food, face painting, helicopter rides, games and more.
The Easter celebration was held on the property of Michael and Debbie Massey and was hosted in memory of Mack Garrison who always planned the big Easter egg hunt in the 1980s when it was the world’s largest egg hunt. His wife is Sandra Garrison who is on the Homer City Council. Mr. Garrison was born on April 25, 1954, and he is a native of Homer. He passed away on Oct. 23, 2022, after having complications from his double bypass surgery. He is survived by his four children and six grandchildren.
The first egg hunt was hosted in 1959 for the family. Shortly after, area school children were invited to participate before the celebration was opened to the public. The Garrison family recalled times where they would wake up at 4 a.m. to start boiling the eggs in their cast iron pots.
“We boiled them three times,” said Sandra.
Sandra also stated that they used to give away live rabbits for those who found the prize eggs. This year children searched through 54,445 eggs to find those prize eggs. In place of live rabbits, children were awarded with TVs, gift baskets, gift cards, trophies and many other prizes.
The Garrison’s 50th annual egg hunt was its last with the exception of one other hunt held in 2009. Organizers stated that the exhaustive preparation to put on the event had taken its toll.
The family plans to make this year’s celebration a new beginning for its long-time tradition.
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