Last year, the Easter Bunny dropped 7,000 candy-filled eggs from a helicopter to eager children and parents in Ber Juan Park.
This year, nearly 30,000 eggs will be dropped.
“We had a way bigger turnout than we expected. We hope we have just as many this year,” said Gina Schafer, personal assistant to the Reverend Eddie Jones, pastor of Christian Life Center, the organization sponsoring the second annual Helicopter Egg Drop.
Morning worship at the CLC will be canceled this Sunday. Instead, the center will have a party at the park, starting at 9:30 a.m.
“We’ll have free food, inflatables and live music,” Schafer said. “And the Easter Bunny will be there.”
Along with the food, music by the church’s house band and lots of fun, registration will also start at 9:30.
Registration will get participants into the drawing for the door prizes, including four season passes to Six Flags, remote controlled helicopters and Easter baskets filled with goodies.
“Last year we thought we might have 300 kids,” Schafer said. “ But we had 4,000 registered, 1,900 kids.”
The organizers are planning — and hoping — for more.
“We have triple the number of volunteers and more security,” she said. The volunteers will be in orange shirts, available to anyone in need of assistance.
At 11 a.m., the pastor will have a few remarks and the drawing for the prizes will be held followed by the drop from the helicopters.
“Thirty thousand plastic eggs have been filled with candy,” Schafer said. Most of them will be dropped to children in six age groups in three different egg-hunting areas.
Last year, there were some tears because some children didn’t get eggs, while adults walked away with their hands full.
Schafer said organizers don’t want any disappointed children this year, so they will hold back some eggs from the drop to give to children who aren’t able to get to the dropped eggs quickly.
Last year, the Easter Bunny dropped the eggs from the helicopter. This year, the company that provides the helicopter has a smaller craft, so there may not be room from the Bunny to ride.
“The Easter Bunny will be on the ground with the children,” Schafer said. Parents are encouraged to bring cameras to take pictures of children and the Bunny.
Schafer said the egg drop is one of the center’s community outreach programs.
“We try to do a lot of community outreach,” she said. “That’s one of our core values.”
She said people who shy away from church attendance will attend a community outreach event.
“We want to give them something they’ll enjoy,” she said.