Easter spirit ‘drops in’ on Conway

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published March 28, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated March 27, 2013 at 8:56 a.m.
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Participants in the 2012 version of The Drop await the eggs released from a helicopter (top) and then scramble to pick them up (above). Second Baptist Church in Conway has held this event for the past three years, placing about 25,000 eggs in the field, then dropping the remaining ones from above.

Children in Conway will have the opportunity to find all of the eggs and candy their hearts desire at The Drop, Second Baptist Church’s annual Easter egg event on Saturday.

The event will begin at 10 a.m., when inflatables and face painting will be available to attendees.

Second Baptist has hosted this free event for the past three years, children’s pastor Todd Bunch said.

The Drop usually uses the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office’s helicopter to take about 5,000 plastic, candy-filled eggs into the air and drop them into an open field for children to place into an Easter basket. This year, the sheriff’s helicopter was not available, so a private pilot will donate his helicopter and time for the event.

“I had seen other churches do it around the country,” Bunch said.

The previous two years, The Drop has been held at the property where the church’s new building will be located.

This year is different because the new building is currently under construction, and there will be no parking available, Bunch said.

“We asked around, and we were able to secure [Estes Stadium at the University of Central Arkansas],” Bunch said.

With the event being at a central location in Conway, rather than at the church, Bunch said, the event will have more of a community feel.

When Easter comes around every year, bags of empty eggs are sent home with church members, who fill the eggs with candy for the children.

In years past, Bunch said, the helicopter could hold three passengers in addition to the pilot.

“Last year, we sent one of the pastors up to be ‘the egg dropper,’ and we had a videographer,” Bunch said.

The actual “drop” will be at 11 a.m., when the eggs will be dropped from the helicopter.

Before the eggs are dropped, about 25,000 eggs will have been scattered across the field, and the helicopter will drop the remaining eggs.

“The helicopter lowers down to right overhead, and we can feel the wind from the blades,” Bunch said.

Bunch said the attendees will circle the perimeter of the field while the eggs are dropped.

“I’ve been right there in the midst of [the crowd],” Bunch said.

In order to keep the

eggs from breaking open when they are dropped, they are taped shut to reinforce them and keep the candy inside.

Bunch said the reactions of attendees to the event make it special to him.

“It’s so fun watching their faces as the helicopter comes down,” Bunch said.

The church uses funds it raises throughout the year to pay for the egg drop.

Last year’s event brought about 1,500 people out, and Bunch said he hopes more than 2,000 people attend

this year. More information about The Drop is available at www.sbcconway.org.

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501)244-4307 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

Online News Editor Lisa Burnett can be reached at lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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