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Church sets Easter events in park
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Looking for something to do in Richmond Hill over the Easter Weekend? You might want to consider the tried and true Easter Extravaganza on April 3 at J.F. Gregory Park.
Put on by New Beginnings Community Church with the help of dozens of sponsors, the event is now in its fourth year and includes something for just about everyone.
Activities include an Easter egg hunt, free hot dogs and coke, kids’ games, bounce-arounds, entertainment from Life Moves Dance Studio, singer Donna Jackson and more.
Kid’s can even get their photos taken with the Easter Bunny. And all of it is free.
“This is the biggest event the church puts on all year, but it is not a fundraiser,” said New Beginnings Pastor Steve Lane. “We do it because we want to be known as a church that gives back to the community.”
The Extravaganza started  in 2007 “with around 700 people,” Lane said. “It went to 1,200 people the second year, and we’re estimating between 2,500-3,000 people attended last year.”
Lane said organizers know at least 2,500 people showed up in 2009 “because we judged it by Coke cups. We know 2,500 Coke cups were given out, and we think 3,000 is a closer estimate of the actual attendance.”
Lane said he expects the Extravaganza to be “bigger and better this year.” In short, everyone is invited.
The Egg Hunt has been one of the most popular parts of the day. This year, volunteers will hide 25,000 brightly colored plastic eggs in the park, each containing candy or a toy.
The hunt will be divided into five age groups and Lane said “kids that don’t get that many eggs, we’ll have an egg booth where they can go and get their basket filled up.”
The Extravaganza is made possible through the help of 30 sponsors, Lane said, and will go on regardless of the weather.
“If it rains, eggs will be distributed to the children and the other activities will go on as planned,” he said. “And we’ll have big fans to blow away the bugs.”
Whether you make it out to the April 3 event or not, there’s an invitation from Lane to return to the Pavilion at J.F. Gregory on April 4. That’s when New Beginnings Community Church will hold its Easter service under the pavilion at 11 a.m. A nursery will be provided in the WetLands Center. 
J.F. Gregory Park is located in Richmond Hill off Hwy. 144 at Cedar Street. For more information about the event call Lane at 308-7635.
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