With Easter around the corner, many families are gearing up for their annual traditions - For some it's an egg hunt, for others, a family brunch - For Ohio-couple Ron and Betty Manolio, it's creating Eggshelland, a tradition that dates all the way back to 1957.
It all began over 50 years ago, when Ron's mother decided to celebrate the holiday by laying out a colorful cross made from 750 eggshells. So many people stopped by to look at it that Ron and Betty decided to make it an annual event. However today, Eggshelland is not just a cross, but a themed landscape with mosaics that range from a traditional Easter bunny to the Statue of Liberty and even, the Flintstones family.
The Lyndhurst-based couple begins by drawing out their entire design for the mosaics on a special piece of paper. This enables them to calculate the exact number of eggshells they need to complete the project.
Once they have collected enough eggshells, they hand-paint each one using special enamel paint to make them harder. Initially, the couple would save eggshells, from eggs they used over the year. However, as the designs have become more complicated and mosaics bigger, they have cut a deal with a local restaurant that supplies them with extra large eggshells. Last year, the couple used 40,000 eggshells to complete their stunning display and the number may be even higher this year.
When ready, they lay out the grid of the drawings on their lawn, place the eggshells atop support sticks and voila - Eggshell Land is well and alive for all to admire.
The couple's hard work and dedication to creating this amazing landscape year after year, has not gone unnoticed. Not only do they have a big fan following, but they have also, been featured in a documentary. Entitled Eggshelland: The Movie, it opened to numerous critical accolades in 2009, and is still played in select theaters throughout the country, around this time of the year.
Eggshelland opens up for visitors the Sunday before Easter and is dismantled the day after the holiday - So, if you happen to be in Lyndhurst this week, be sure to check it out. Do you have a fun Easter tradition? If so, be sure to let us know, by adding your comments below.