Colorful bonnets adorned with foil-wrapped chocolates, stuffed animals, rabbit ears, plastic eggs, crosses, ribbon, flowers and feathers were the stars of the Council on Aging's Easter Party.

The party, held April 13 at the council's Gonzales Senior Center, featured a hat contest, egg hunt and music by Route 61 featuring Pat Sanchez, Johnnie Sanchez, Wayne Brignac and Ronnie Champton.

More than 30 decorated chapeaus were entered in the hat contest. To increase the participation in this year's contest, volunteers with area businesses stopped by the senior centers in Gonzales and Donaldsonville to help seniors prepare their hats.

Jennifer Bercegeay, with Gonzales Healthcare Center, said she hasn't missed a COA Easter party in years and was happy to help decorate hats this year.

"I raided our craft stash," Bercegeay said. "It was so much fun. I've been volunteering here since 1998 and rarely miss a COA event."

COA Executive Director Darlene Schexnayder said the Easter party is always a popular event, and the egg hunt brings out the competitive side of many of her clients.

More than 800 jelly-bean filled plastic eggs were placed in Veterans Memorial Park, located next to the senior center, for the egg hunt. Eggs were in trees, bushes, atop monuments and tossed along sidewalks. 

Seniors using walkers, canes and wheelchairs had a designated area for egg hunting.

Three larger, golden eggs were hidden. Sue Solar, Erval Hatcher and Evangeline Martin found the prized eggs and received door prizes.

"I'm lucky today," Hatcher said. "I won two prizes."

Hatcher won second place in the hat contest's funniest category.