The third annual ‘Easter Extravaganza’ is this Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. in J.F. Gregory Park. The event, which saw attendance figures double last year, is becoming a Richmond Hill tradition.The event is coordinated by members of New Beginnings Church in cooperation with the city of Richmond Hill. The first ‘Extravaganza’ played host to 700 people while 1,500 came out for the 2008 festivities. New Beginnings Pastor Steve Lane said this Saturday’s event is anticipated to be the biggest yet, with a projected attendance of over 2,000 people.
The day will feature an egg hunt with 25,000 eggs and free pictures with the Easter Bunny. Entertainment planned includes face painting, bounce-around-inflatables, Life Moves Dance Studio and local gospel artist Donna Jackson. Free food and drink will be available and child care will be provided for ages four and under.
Weather reports are calling for a nice day, but Lane said it is nonetheless a rain or shine event.
"If it rains, we still encourage folks to come out and there will be plenty to do," Lane said. "We would just distribute the eggs to kids and all other events would be under the covered pavilion."
The egg hunt, which is open to kids 10 and under, will be divided into age brackets with team leaders assigned to each group. Each group will have a separate section of the park in which to search for eggs. The eggs are filled with candy and toys, but some egg hunters will win bigger prizes. 100 of the eggs have gold coins inside while others will have slips of paper indicating bigger prizes, such as bicycles and stuffed animals.
Lane said there are plenty of eggs for all the kids, and they are holding back 3,000 eggs to fill the baskets of kids who are too timid to hunt for them so that "no kid goes home discouraged."
Organizers have held regular meetings since January and have enlisted more than 30 sponsors who have contributed everything from food to entertainment.
The premier sponsors for the event include Jazzercise, RPI Residential, Spine & Sport, Plantation Hardware, My Grandfather’s Place, RH Montessori, RH Pals, Children’s Village, Southeastern Bank, Station Xchange, S&J Bookkeeping, RH Women’s Business Alliance, Keller Williams Real Estate, Fonderific, Publix, Pocket Media, MacDaddy’s Cajun Grill, Life Moves Studio, Bryan County News, Little Debbie, First Bank of Coastal Georgia, McDonald’s, Derst Bakery, Kindas Bounce Arounds, Triangle Ice, Coca-Cola, Frito Lay and Crystal Spring Water.
Lane said more volunteers are needed to help hide eggs and for a variety of other tasks, and he encourages those willing to help out with the event to call 308-7635 or 445-0196.