By Joe Hadsall
Globe Features Editor
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Work changes during the late winter months at Candy House Chocolate Factory. Candy-makers stop making hearts and start making eggs.
They stuff them will filling. They hollow eggs out and fill them up with other chocolates. They offer panoramic eggs, hollowed out and filled with a bunny or ducky. They make suckers and other candies in the shape of eggs.
Entire displays at the Joplin store, 510 Kentucky Ave., are devoted to eggs.
The oblong edibles are a historical symbol of Easter. Every year, they are decorated, hidden, found again and devoured in a number of different forms. Though different religions celebrate Easter different ways, the hunt for eggs is officially on.
A-hunting we will go
Despite some of the Joplin area's bigger Easter egg hunts being canceled, such as the Joplin Jaycees' "Gone in 60 Seconds," there will be plenty of chances to go hunting.
~ Carousel Park will hold an egg hunt on March 30 as a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House. The hunt was originally scheduled for Saturday, but the threat of winter weather pushed organizers to postpone.
About 12,000 eggs will be available for kids to hunt, and those eggs will be stuffed with candy, park discounts and prizes such as bicycles, scooters and gift cards.
The event includes two hunts: one at noon for children 32 to 42 inches tall, and one at 1:30 p.m. for kids between 43 and 54 inches tall.
Entry costs $1, and proceeds will go to Ronald McDonald House of the Four States.
~ Christ's Community United Methodist Church will hold a hunt at 10 a.m. Saturday at the church, regardless of weather conditions.
"We may have to move it inside," said Stephanie Trenary, children's minister at the church. "It won't be as exciting as running outside to get eggs, but kids will still get them."
Thousands of eggs have been donated by members and are filled with candy or prizes. Different hunts will be held for different age groups, and other activities such as a jelly-bean guessing contest and a short devotional will be held.
The church is located at 2700 E. 44th St.
~ Weather also changed the details of the hunt organized by First Presbyterian Church. The hunt will be held at 5 p.m. at the church, 509 S. Pearl Ave. The event was originally scheduled to be held at Shoalkirk Retreat Center, but weather concerns forced the move. The hunt could also be held inside the church instead of outside.
One of the more fascinating, intricate ways to decorate eggs is ingrained not just in Easter, but in Ukranian history and identity.
Carolyn Trout will teach how to make Pysanky eggs during two classes Saturday at Spiva Center for the Arts.
"The tradition goes back thousands of years," Trout said. "It's all ties to the springtime ritual."
The eggs are exquisitely detailed in a number of different colors. Separate applications of wax and dye are used to make the eggs.
Using a special tool known as a kistka, beeswax is heated then used to write on an egg in different patterns, then the egg is dyed. The wax prevents the dye from absorbing into the egg. Repeated applications of wax and dye, similar to the process used in most commercial egg-coloring kits, lead to the colorful creations.
Trout picked up the method from a kit her husband gave her. She was instantly drawn to the beauty and intricate design of the eggs.
"I worked for about 10 years on them before getting any good, but I did only three or four eggs a year," Trout said. "It wasn't until I spent a lot of time that I managed to get skilled, and practice helps."
Trout will teach two classes on Saturday. A class for beginners will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and a class for advanced students will be held from 2 to 5 p.m.
Each class costs $35. Availability is limited. The class is recommended for students 12 and older.
Easter makes solid use of chicken eggs for celebrations, but students in a class from the Missouri Department of Conservation will look for a different type of egg.
Incredible Bird Eggs is a class that features the variety of sizes, shapes and colors of eggs that birds lay. Part of the class will involve students attempting to spot turkey eggs outside.
The class is free, but registration is required. It will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. March 29 at Walkter Woods Conservation Area.
When exactly is Easter?
Often referred to as a "moveable feast," there is no set day for Easter. Unlike holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, Easter is observed anywhere from March 22 to April 25. According to the History Channel, Christians in the West mark Easter as the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox on March 21.