Children run to greet the Easter bunny as they snatch candy-filled eggs from the basket during the Pride Easter egg hunt held at Southside Park in Carroll April 14. (Photos by Annie Mehl)
Children run to greet the Easter bunny as they snatch candy-filled eggs from the basket during the Pride Easter egg hunt held at Southside Park in Carroll April 14. (Photos by Annie Mehl)

April 26, 2019

It was a crisp spring morning as children ran along the playground and sat on picnic tables coloring pictures of an Easter-themed Snoopy.

While working on their pictures and collecting Easter eggs, kids noticed Nicholas McDaniel, who brought out colorful Pride flags to sell.

Kids banded together and raced over to get the flags.

All around the park, McDaniel watched as little rainbow flags colored the park and glided in the wind, representing unity and love.

“We were not expecting so many people and kids,” McDaniel said. “We were selling Pride flags, and the kids swarmed to them. Watching the kids run to them was great.”

McDaniel and his mom, Monica Smith, put a unique twist on the usual Carroll Easter egg hunt this year and offered a family-friendly day for people to come out and participate in an Easter egg hunt, complete arts and crafts and also help raise money to put on a Pride Festival celebrating people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender in Carroll this August.

It was McDaniel’s first year hosting an Easter egg hunt, which was held at Southside Park in Carroll April 14. Next year, he said, he will arrange the day differently and rework how the silent auction and raffle are held.

In total, they were able to raise about $1,400 to go toward the Pride Festival.

McDaniel said it was wonderful to receive donations supporting the event from local businesses such as I Saw The Sign, Salontief, Salon On Sixth, A Head of the Times, Tasty Greek, Family Table Restaurant, Serendipity Acting Studio and more.

He said he hopes to plan a garage sale fundraiser this summer before the Pride Festival to raise additional money.

McDaniel said several hundred guests attended the pride Easter egg hunt and added that organizers were very happy with all of the community support they received.

We have a lot more support to be shown in this community than a lot of people would have thought,” he said. “We are a very, very religious town, so it was good to see everyone come out and show their support.”