Lake Jennings’ Spring Carnival invites youngster to the lake for egg hunt and fishing

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It is a brisk morning on the lake. The sun is up but its warmth has not yet penetrated the air. On the dock that runs toward the silvery center of Lake Jennings, children are beginning to clamber forward, eyes gleaming, ready to cast their lines into the water to reel in their first catch. 

On Saturday, Mar. 24, Lake Jennings celebrated their Spring Carnival with kids pond, egg hunt, picnic lunch and a special appearance of the lake’s very own Easter Bunny. 

It is a brisk morning on the lake. The sun is up but its warmth has not yet penetrated the air. On the dock that runs toward the silvery center of Lake Jennings, children are beginning to clamber forward, eyes gleaming, ready to cast their lines into the water to reel in their first catch. 

On Saturday, Mar. 24, Lake Jennings celebrated their Spring Carnival with kids pond, egg hunt, picnic lunch and a special appearance of the lake’s very own Easter Bunny. 

Paul LaFalce, whose four-year-old son made the first catch of the day, said the lake attracts a lot of home-grown Easty County folks.

“A lot of people from just around El Cajon and Lakeside come here,” he said. “I’ve grown up in East County my whole life. I think a lot of people who come here grew up around here and have been coming here a lot of years.”

Kira Haley, lake recreation manager, said the bustling morning was likely to turn into an exciting day for many of the young visitors.

“A lot of kids will be catching their first fish today,” said Haley. “We basically put the fish into a netted PVC cube in the lake and it’s literally like fishing in a barrel.”

Although the little fishers were thrilled to watch their lines tighten and then reel in their wriggling prizes, only a few were as enthusiastic about holding their defeated fish up for the obligatory photo. LaFalce helped his son show off the catch before placing the fish in a plastic bag for him to tote around.

Lake Jennings, constructed by the Helix Water District in 1965, is an integral part of the neighborhood, said Brian Olney, director of water quality and system operations.

“We get about 30,000 visitors a year between camping and fishing,” he said. “It’s part of the community.”

The lake has been hosting egg hunts for several years now and has become quite popular.

“We’re expecting 300-400 kids and whoever comes out with the family,” said Olney. “We have a little over 3,000 eggs.”

Aside from the two egg hunts, one in the later morning and the other in the afternoon, a picnic lunch was planned in a clearing by the shore, just within sight of the slope speckled with hundreds of brightly colored eggs.

“Bringing children into nature is really why we’re here,” said Haley. “This is a really great time for them to come out, spend time with their families, and we’d rather have the kids out here than inside. It’s a really fun time for them to learn and play.” 

Haley said mornings like these are great for the community, but she is always happy to come to work at Lake Jennings.

“Everybody’s happy to be here,” she said. “They woke up that morning and decided to come to the lake.”

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