It may seem as if Easter crept up early this year, but never fear, warmer temperatures are in store for all the events scheduled this weekend.
Several Easter egg hunts are planned, including one that was postponed last weekend due to rain.
"This is our sixth year," said Michael Hapchuck, president of the Justice Motorcycle Club, which holds the annual Easter egg hunt in Muskingum Park.
The hunt will be held Saturday at the stroke of noon.
"It got started because we decided to do something for the kids. We like to ride, but we also like to help out the community," he said. "We want to show the community that bikers aren't bad people."
The entire park from the gazebo to the Putnam Street Bridge, the usage of which was donated by the city, will be filled with 10,500 plastic eggs, according to Hapchuck.
If you go
Easter egg hunt, 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Tunnel United Methodist Church, Coffman Road; games, activities at the church; hay ride to Inman Liberty Park for egg hunt; three age groups, toddlers to sixth-graders; 374-8685.
Second annual Pictures with the Easter Bunny, 10 a.m. Saturday, Greenleaf Landscapes, Marietta; $10; fundraiser for Upward Bound Parents Association; also, Easter egg hunt, noon, for children age 12 and under.
Annual Easter egg Decorating Contest, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at The Castle in Marietta; held rain or shine; all materials provided; categories are 6 and under, 7 to 9 years and 10 to 12 years.
Easter egg hunt, 11 a.m. Saturday, Marietta Township Recreation Center, Reno; for children up to age 12; sponsored by Reno Lions Club.
Easter egg hunt, noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Word of God Ministries, off West Virginia 47, Parkersburg; carnival style games; children of all ages welcome.
Community Easter egg hunt, noon Saturday, Buell Island, Lowell. Sponsored by Lowell Masonic Lodge 436.
Easter egg hunt, 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Bethel Community Center, Marr; eggs filled with candy, coins; live Easter Bunny for pictures; bake sale; (740) 934-2064.
Easter egg hunt, 2 p.m. Saturday, Sand Hill United Methodist Church, Reno; for children up to 10 years old.
"Last year we had 500 kids show up, and it was over in seconds - like a giant vacuum cleaner," he said.
The eggs are filled with candy and 155 special eggs earn the finder a prize basket. One lucky child from each age category will also win a bike or a gift certificate. The categories are ages 0-5, 6-10, 11-15 and those with disabilities.
Several businesses in the area help out with gift cards, treats, baskets and coupons, including Broughton's and Wal-Mart. But the monthly dues that are collected by the club's members go a long way toward buying the candy.
"It's been getting harder getting people to help out in these times," Hapchuck said. "But we're going to keep doing it."
Several area churches will also be holding Easter egg hunts Saturday, and children will have a chance to have their picture taken with the Easter Bunny at Greenleaf Landscapes as a benefit for the Upward Bound Parents Association.
The Castle in Marietta will also offer children up to age 12 a chance to get creative.
The annual Decorating Contest will be Saturday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
"We usually have a good turnout," said director Lynn Shuman. "It depends on the weather."
Parents are not allowed to help, and eggs will be judged on creativity, beauty and originality. There will be four winners in each age group.
Entrants are asked to arrive a little bit early to register and will be done in time to enjoy other events.
"The timing is really set up so they can go on to other things that are going on in the community that day," Shuman said.