BRISTOL – With six age groups of over 50 registered children each, Muzzy Field played host to the fifth annual Mayor’s Back-to-School Pencil Hunt as a celebration to get back into the school season and provide some needed supplies to area families.
“It’s one of those things where we get some sponsors to help but it’s not even about that, it’s about getting the kids excited, especially the younger kids. Their first time going to school, they get a little nervous,” said Mayor Jeff Caggiano. “They get to run into some friends (at the hunt) and listen to some structure which isn’t a bad thing. They all get prizes.”
Around a thousand pencils were placed in the ground throughout the outfield and around 100 in the infield for the youngest of the hunt’s participants. Specific marked pencils could lead to special prize types. Children prekindergarten through eighth grade dashed across the field searching for the writing instruments in timed intervals.
Bristol Police Youth Cadets were on hand to help guide children and the Bristol Water Department provided refreshments to cool off families.
“It’s another beautiful day and this is always a really popular event to kick off the end of summer and transition into the school year,” said Bristol Parks, Recreation, Youth and Community Services Superintendent Dr. Josh Medeiros. “We’re really happy with the turnout and kids are having a great time and get tons of free supplies to take into the school year.”
A variety of school supplies were offered to participants through donations from area businesses and organizations.
Dawn Bartolome said coming to the hunt was “always a good time” and that she and her daughter had been taking part in the event since it began.
Justin Audet and Amy Audet said this was the family’s first time coming to the run with their children.
“We’re excited,” said Amy. “Obviously it’s been a tough last couple years with covid so we are ready and they are excited (to get back to school). It's great that they put this on and it’s a great welcome back.”
For more information about coming fall activities with Bristol Parks, Recreation, Youth and Community Services, visit the Bristol Rec website.