• 61°

Easter in the air: Egg drop brings joy to children

MOORESVILLE – When the first faint sound of the helicopter is heard over the trees, a hushed cheer goes up from the gathered children and parents.
And, when the chopper hovers over a roped-off patch of pasture, and thousands of plastic eggs are released from a sack a couple of hundred feet up, the cheers almost drown out the soft patter of the plastic shells raining down.
The fifth annual Easter Eggstravaganza at Lazy 5 Ranch began Saturday, and returns on April 19.
Sarah Beth Rogers, one of the organizers with Lazy 5 Ranch, said, starting this year, the event has been expanded based on feedback from parents.
The park increased the number of helicopter drops to 14, one every half hour, and divided them between different age groups. At the top of the hour, children from birth through age 5 go out with their parents to gather the airlifted eggs. Thirty minutes later, it’s the bigger kids’ turn, as children up to age 11 go out to gather eggs.
Starting this year, Rogers said, parents of those older kids are now being asked to stay on the sidelines so that the hunt remains fair.
But in the end, the point isn’t to gather lots of eggs, but just to get one of every color. Children earn a prize for having an egg of a particular color, no matter how many of that color they find. They know it’s still fun to fill up the basket, though.
As they stood in line to redeem their eggs for prizes, 3-year-old Princeton Hill proudly took eggs from his basket one at a time to show others, while Trey Gbenyon, 5, looked into his pail and counted.
Asked how he felt when the helicopter showed up, Gbenyon smiled and said, “I wanted to get ‘em!”
Gbenyon’s mother, April Cox, said she and her friend Yvonne Hill had brought their boys because of how fun the event looked.
On the other side of the prize tent, Miriam Welsh, 7, compared prizes with her brother, Cyprian, 4. Both got animal masks, sunglasses, plastic toys and other goodies. Their parents, Mary and John Welsh, of Gastonia, met their aunt and uncle, Doug and Susanna Johnson, of Charlotte, for a family day at the park.
“This is a really good idea,” Mary Welsh said. “There’s a lot of excitement.”
The biggest change for 2014, Rogers said, is the addition of a second Saturday. She said many parents had asked for an additional day, for those who travel in the days leading up to Easter. Rogers said on April 19, there will be 14 more egg drops — seven for each age range. The helicopter will drop eggs every half-hour from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., resuming after a lunch break with eight more drops 2 to 5:30 p.m.
Also new for 2014’s Easter Eggstravaganza is a focus on education.
In addition to the animal exhibits, food vendors and petting barn, students from two Future Farmers of America chapters are holding fundraising events while also sharing information on agriculture.
Beverly Hampton, daughter of Lazy 5 Ranch owner Henry Hampton, is a junior at North Carolina State University. This year, Hampton is also serving as a National Collegiate Agriculture Ambassador — one of 20 young people nationwide to hold the position, she said.
In addition to speaking on agricultural issues and participating in events with the national FFA, Hampton said she was back in town Saturday to help local FFA students give talks on local farming and food during the Easter Eggstravaganza. Children who visited the FFA tent got to see a program on the farms where food and other good come from, Hampton said.
“There’s so many people who are disconnected from agriculture,” she said.
Among other activities, FFA members gave visiting children watermelon seeds to take home and plant — a hands-on activity that Hampton said might help “bridge the gap.”
Adding the educational events to the family fun at the Easter Eggstravaganza was “a win-win, a double whammy,” Hampton said.
Contact Hugh Fisher via the editor’s desk at 704-797-4244.

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

‘Meet the need’: Rowan County Health Department looks to add to vaccination options

Local

Seaford is first woman in county hired for town manager position since the ’90s

Local

Colonial Spring Frolic makes a comeback to kick off museum’s year

Local

Concord City Council wants to name bridge for fallen officer, Rowan native

Education

RSS administration will recommend selling Faith Elementary property to charter school

Business

Inspired by advice from father-in-law, Angela Mills launches her own business in memory of him

Local

Rowan County Democrats re-elect leaders, pass resolutions

Local

Baseball: Memories come alive in Ferebee book

Local

During Child Abuse Prevention Month, local groups reflect on detecting abuse in a virtual world

Business

Biz Roundup: Small Business Center announces spring slate of workshop for business owners

Clubs

Kiwanis Pancake Festival starts Friday

Local

Rowan fire marshal seeks to clear up confusion, worry caused by solicitation letter

Education

Fun every day: Fifth anniversary for Yadkin Path Montessori School

Nation/World

Charles: Royal family ‘deeply grateful’ for support for Philip

News

North Carolina sites to resume J&J vaccines after CDC review

News

Cooper OKs bill offering K-12 students summer school option

High School

High school football: Playoff time means get ready for ‘big-boy football’

High School

High school football: Hornets overpower South to secure playoff spot

Crime

Jeffrey MacDonald won’t be released despite deteriorating health

Business

Amazon warehouse workers reject union in Alabama

Nation/World

Ex-NFL player’s brain to be probed for trauma-related harm after Rock Hill shootings

Education

Duke University to require COVID vaccinations for fall term

Education

Cooper OKs bill offering K-12 students summer school option

High School

High school football: Record night for Pinckney as East cruises; Carson wins thriller in OT