Area filled with Easter traditions

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, February 27, 2018

By Linda Evenson

Easter season brings to mind Christian celebrations, spring weather, Easter eggs and Easter bonnets. A local newspaper described Easter Sunday as “the Sunday of joy” in 1874. At that time, few Albert Lea congregations had their own church buildings. Services were held at various locations, including the school and the courthouse. Some congregations used the church buildings of other denominations and held services in the afternoon. 

Eggs have long been associated with Easter. The April 7, 1860, issue of the Freeborn County Eagle reported, “Eggs are selling at 4 or 5 cents per dozen in town, who can’t afford to keep Easter in a proper manner?”

Almost 80 years later, in 1939, the first annual Egg Frolic, sponsored by the YMCA, YWCA and the Boy and Girl Scouts, was held at Edgewater Park. The event included an egg hunt, egg-rolling contest and a best decorated egg competition. The Easter egg hunt was held in two roped-off areas of the park. On the signal, children rushed to find the 4,100 candy eggs hidden among the leaves and trees. The youngsters brought big stew pans, grape baskets, large paper sacks and huge cartons to collect their newly discovered eggs. Within 15 minutes, all the eggs were found.