Breakfast with the Easter bunny, an egg hunt, carnival and petting zoo - all that and more are part of a Spring Eggstravaganza in Elk Grove today.
And that's not all that's happening in the city. There's also a Veggie Chase 5K and two fun runs for kids ages 5 to 10.
Those are just a couple of daylong happenings the community hosts for residents and visitors. There's something going on year-round, including a Multicultural Festival in August to celebrate the city's diversity, the Hot Summer Nights Concert Series at Town Hall, the Strauss Festival in July and The Running of the Elk, a half-marathon in April to benefit the Elk Grove Youth Sports Foundation.
It's not just the variety of events that draws people to Elk Grove. Residents are attracted to the community for its high quality of life, good public school system, nearly 100 parks and decent shopping opportunities, said Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis.
In the future, people also may be attracted by a professional soccer team.
Two weeks ago, Elk Grove's council gave city staff the go-ahead to look for land for a soccer complex - the first step in the city being home to a Major League Soccer franchise.
"A professional soccer team in Elk Grove would be very successful," Davis said.
At the same meeting, the council also focused on bringing more jobs to Elk Grove.
"For a community of (almost) 156,000, we have less than 30,000 jobs," Davis said. "That's a great job imbalance, but the City Council is focusing on job creation. Our goal is to become the most jobs-aggressive, business-friendly city in California."
"Some city will be No. 1," the mayor said. "Why not us?" he asked. "We're hungry for job growth and employment-oriented development."
One growing segment is health care. Kaiser Permanente has two medical centers; Sutter Health has an outpatient surgery center and is in the process of getting approval for a hospital and Dignity Health just cut ribbons on a medical office building, the mayor said.
"Although 24,000 state employees live in Elk Grove, there were no state agencies until last spring. Now we have the state Department of Corrections' California Correctional Health Care Services, the administrative offices for the prison health care," Davis said.
Christine Brainerd, Elk Grove's public information officer, said several high-quality jobs are moving into the city. New retailers include DSW Shoes, The Fresh Market, a specialty grocery retailer, and Hobby Lobby, a crafting and home decor store.
Realtor Terri Briggs of Coldwell Banker said the City Council is doing a good job of coming up with a strategic plan for jobs and businesses.
Like Davis, she also gives high marks to the schools.
"They're among the best in the area. Couple that with affordable homes and people seek out Elk Grove," she said.
Many residents don't leave the city or they move back, said Briggs, who has lived in Elk Grove for 50 years and who graduated from Elk Grove High School. Her children attended school with children of her classmates.
She's sold real estate for almost a dozen years.
"We are the top metro area with the lowest inventory," Briggs said.
Inventory is down 48 percent over last year and there's a lot of pent-up demand. I see multiple offers everywhere."
One home that recently sold had 45 offers.
The average sold price of a home for February was $256,000. The average price per square foot was $127.
New-home builders are starting to ramp up, she said.
The mayor also noted the trend.
"The existing housing inventory is very low; the resale market is pretty tight and that's enabled new home starts to take off, he said.
New-home communities currently selling in Elk Grove are The Ranch at Madeira by JMC Homes, featuring 1,801 to 2,813 square foot homes that are priced from $359,990. JMC also is offering Providence with homes that range from 2,420 to 3,957 square feet, priced from $449,990.
Taylor Morrison Homes has three communities. Barcelos at Madeira is offering homes from 2,426 to 3,600 square feet that being in the $390,000s. Mirabela at Madeira homes range from 1,561 to 2,822 square feet and are priced from the $325,000s.
Rancho Verde by Taylor Morrison has homes from 1,657 to 3,300 square feet that start in the $290,000s.
People who work in the Bay area or who only go there once a week like the convenience of living near Interstate 5, Briggs said.
They also like Elk Grove for its midwestern feel with many community events, she said.
In addition to the Easter events, the runs, Strauss and Multicultural Festivals, other major events include the 56th Elk Grove Western Festival in May, the Old Town Chili Festival in June, the Run for Independence in June and the Salute to the Red, White and Blue on July 4.
Davis is the first elected mayor of Elk Grove, which is one of the newest cities in California. It was founded in 1850, but not incorporated until 2000. Davis was elected mayor in 2010.
In the 1850s, Elk Grove was a stagecoach and hotel stop and served as a base for gold miners from nearby communities as well as a crossroads for business, entertainment, mail service and agriculture.
The Elk Grove Stage Stop provided the name of the community; however, it wasn't until the railroad came through the area that the town itself was established.
Many businesses were started on Main Street, as were the fire department, water services and the chamber of commerce. The first free county library in California was established in Elk Grove in 1908.
"Elk Grove has amazing people," the mayor said. "There is a high level of diversity. It's fully integrated on every street and in every neighborhood. It's a real opportunity to energize so many cultures."
The diversity of the city is reflected in the schools, where more than 80 languages and dialects are spoken, according to the Elk Grove city website.
With nearly 62,000 students, the Elk Grove Unified School District is one of the largest in Northern California and fifth largest in the state.
"The strength of belonging and sense of community is really inspiring," Davis said. "We engage people in working toward making Elk Grove a better place."
Tinka Davi is a freelance writer and editor based in Folsom.
Where: about 15 miles south of downtown Sacramento; 4 miles south of Sacramento city limits
Size: 42.0 square miles
Government: City Council