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Local News

Ready for the hunt

Whether by air, with dogs or in the dark, egg hunt opportunities plentiful

Suzy Petkus of Batavia (third from left) helps fill plastic eggs with candy with (from left) Jeanne McCallister of Batavia and Grant Diamond, pastor at Faith Baptist Church Mill Creek, in preparation for the church's annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday.
Suzy Petkus of Batavia (third from left) helps fill plastic eggs with candy with (from left) Jeanne McCallister of Batavia and Grant Diamond, pastor at Faith Baptist Church Mill Creek, in preparation for the church's annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday.

Those who participate Saturday in an Easter egg hunt at Faith Baptist Mill Creek church, near Geneva, first will look to the skies.

In a twist on the traditional hunt, a helicopter will drop thousands of eggs onto a field near the church, located at 1S455 S. Mill Creek Drive in the Mill Creek subdivision near Geneva. Participants will search for the eggs.

On a day filled with egg hunts throughout the area, the church’s is among the most distinctive.

“One of the things that our church is really passionate about is outreach,” said Grant Diamond, head pastor at Faith Baptist Church. “I wanted to come up with something that would allow us to just get as many people together this Easter and to give us a chance to invite them to our Easter service the following week. We want to share the love of God with as many people as we can in our community.”

Diamond said he heard about a church in North Carolina doing a helicopter egg drop, and then researched the idea. Registration for the event starts at 10:15 a.m. that day and the helicopter will arrive at 11:10 a.m.

Safety is the church’s biggest priority during the event, Diamond said. The helicopter will not fly if it is too windy, and volunteers have been trained to ensure the event goes smoothly, he said. Some have spent the past few weeks stuffing the hard plastic eggs with candy, toys and prizes.

“The Easter Bunny will get on the helicopter and load it up with eggs,” Diamond said. The actual drop will occur around 11:15 a.m., he said.

Ten-minute helicopter rides will be offered at a cost of $25 a person, and free helicopter rides will be given away in four “special” eggs. The event has garnered a lot of interest, Diamond said.

“We’ve got over 430 families registered now, which is totally crazy,” Diamond said. “We kind of went viral on Facebook.”

People still can register the day of the event, he said. The egg hunt will be divided into four age groups. As kids wait for their age group to begin, families can hang out at a petting zoo that the church also has brought in for the day.

He encouraged people to show up early to ensure they get a parking space. With the church seeing an average of 80 people during a Sunday service, Diamond said he is excited about the additional number of people the event promises to bring to the church grounds.

“For us to have the chance to share the love of God with upwards of 1,500 people, it will really be incredible,” he said.

Other organizations featuring unusual egg hunts will include the Batavia Park District, which will have a hunt for dogs on Saturday, and the Fox Valley Park District, which will hold a flashlight egg hunt at Blackberry Farm on April 17.

“This will be our third year for the doggie Easter egg hunt,” said Kari Miller, director of marketing and public relations for the Batavia Park District. “The past two years, we’ve had a very good turnout. ... We had approximately 80 dogs last year.”

The Doggie Easter Egg Hunt will be at the West Main Community Park at 40W101 W. Main St., Batavia. Registration will begin at 11:30 a.m., but owners can come early and browse a variety of pet-friendly booths and pick up complimentary products. The eggs are stuffed with dog treats.

The cost is $10 for the first dog and $5 for each additional dog, with a portion of the proceeds going toward Anderson Animal Shelter in South Elgin.

“I think it’s something different and unique for people,” Miller said. “It’s kind of fun for families to not only participate in the regular kid-friendly Easter egg hunt, but then to bring the family pet along, as well, and get them in on the fun, as well.”

Before the event, the park district will hold an egg hunt for children at 10 a.m. at West Main Community Park. The popular event has attracted between 400 to 600 people in the past, Miller said.

Families can get their pictures taken with the Easter Bunny during the free event, and they are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item or paper product to be donated to the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry.

The Fox Valley Park District’s Flashlight Egg Hunt at Blackberry Farm, 100 Barnes Road, Aurora, is for children in fifth through eighth grade. The event will be from 7 to 9 p.m. April 17.

“It’s a new event,” Fox Valley Park District Public Relations Manager Jeff Long said. “It’s designed for kids a little bit older. Most egg hunts are for the little kids. It’s meant to appeal to the middle-school crowd.”

The cost is $15 for residents, $20 for nonresidents. The event will feature dinner, dancing and a live DJ, along with unlimited hay wagon rides. The deadline to register has been extended until Monday. Information is available by calling 630-892-1550.

If you go

Other local Easter egg hunts

• Elburn Lions Club egg hunt

10 a.m. Saturday

Elburn Lions Club, 500  S. Filmore St., Elburn

• Kaneville Fire Department egg hunt

11 a.m. Saturday

Kaneville Fire Department, 46W536 Lovell St., Kaneville

• Geneva Park District egg hunt

10 a.m. Saturday

Stephen D. Persinger Recreation Center, 3507 Kaneville Road, Geneva

• Maple Park Public Library egg hunt

noon Saturday

302 Willow St., Maple Park

• Mooseheart Easter egg hunt

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday

Mooseheart Child City and School, Route 31 at Mooseheart Road

• St. Charles egg hunt

10 a.m. Saturday

Pottawatomie Park, 8 N. North Ave., St. Charles

• Sugar Grove Park District egg hunt

1:30 to 2 p.m. Saturday

Volunteer Park, 61 Main St., Sugar Grove

Doggie Easter egg hunt follows at 2:10 p.m.

• Fox Valley Park District Hippity-Hop egg hunt

10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. April 19

Vaughan Athletic Center, 2121 W. Indian Trail, Aurora

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