Mont Ripley hosts annual Easter egg hunt

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Susan Christianelli, organizer of Mont Ripley’s annual Easter egg hunt, picks up a form from Max Bier, 12, who found one of the 20 golden eggs scattered around the ski hill. Those were also joined by more than 1,500 other eggs, containing prizes such as candy or toys.

RIPLEY — As manager of the Ripley Tune and Supply shop and a ski instructor, Susan Christianelli wears multiple hats at Mount Ripley.

Saturday, that meant bunny ears.

Hundreds of kids took up the challenge to find more than 1,500 eggs Saturday morning as Mont Ripley held its annual Easter egg hunt.

The exact start year isn’t known, but it’s been around 23 years, said Christianelli, who volunteers to coordinate the Easter egg hunt.

“These kids are at this hill every day after school,” she said. “They are such a huge part of this hill, so it’s something we do to give back to them. It’s fun for the staff, the staff gets into it.”

It takes about six weeks of planning to put the hunt together, Christianelli said. The Bike Shop donated the bike, while Walmart also provided money to buy prizes.

The eggs were scattered around the ski hill, both on the slopes and in walk-up areas for non-skiers.

Liz Powell of Calumet and Megan Barnardo of Madison, Wisconsin were watching their children rack up an impressive tally of eggs.

“He’s pretty little, and he had a hard time getting to an egg, but his friends shared,” Barnardo said of her son, Michael, 2.

Among the green, pinks and blues were 20 golden eggs. Whoever found them was entered into a drawing for prizes, including a bike.

Christianelli kept a map with the location of the golden eggs, crossing numbers off the list as they came in.

“Probably in the afternoon, I’ll start writing hints as to where the rest are,” she said.

There was a box set up for successful egg hunters to drop off the eggs once they’d taken their prizes. Late Saturday morning, three volunteers — two on skis, one on sled, were replenishing the stock around the hill.

There were about 15 golden eggs left when Max Bier, 12, of Houghton brought one in. He’d found his at Ripley’s tubing park.

Asked what he thought of the hunt, he gave a thumbs-up.

His friend Jonah Boersma, 12, of Calumet had also gotten some regular eggs, though no golden eggs so far.

“We’re planning on finding him one,” Bier said. “By the end of the day he should have one.”

They inspected the haul as Bier popped open his regular eggs, including candy, some small toys and a Dairy Queen coupon.

Boersma also appreciated the event.

“It’s definitely a way for kids to get outside,” he said.


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