The Richmond Register

April 14, 2014

Easter bunny's ‛eggbeater’ will fly eggs to Richmond

For Eggstravaganza on Saturday

By Bill Robinson
Register Editor

RICHMOND — Skeptics can come to the Easter Eggstravaganza in Richmond’s Irvine-McDowell Park on Saturday to see for themselves. However, the bunny still doesn’t fly in bad weather. But on Monday, temperatures in the 60s with partly cloudy skies were predicted for Saturday.

That message is from one of the Easter bunny’s helpers, James Sells of TN Vertical Flight in Livingston, Tenn., who will be flying, appropriately enough, a small “eggbeater” type helicopter to Richmond. He and one of his students will drop a total of 10,000 plastic eggs onto the park for youngsters to scoop up and redeem for bags of candy.

Two drops are planned, said Erin Moore, Richmond Parks and Recreation Department director.

The Easter bunny will be on the ground supervising as his helpers in the eggbeater.

An 11:30 a.m. drop will be for ages 5 and under, while children ages 6 to 10 will be waiting for their eggs at 12:30 p.m.

In addition to being more dramatic, the helicopter drop also will be more equitable, Moore said.

In the past, candy was simply scattered on a ball field for children to pick up, and those who moved the fastest got the most.

The helicopter egg drop, not to be confused with the infamous Thanksgiving turkey drop on the old sit-com WKRP in Cincinnati, was the idea of Eastside Community Church, a co-sponsor of the city’s Easter Eggstravaganza this year, Moore said.

Dr. Virgil Grant, Eastside Community’s pastor, heard about other churches conducting helicopter Easter egg drops and asked her to look into the possibility of having one in Richmond, said Vivian Wallace, the church’s director of small groups and events.

The church first considered conducting its own egg drop but decided that providing one for the city’s event would involve more children, she said.

Wallace got advice from a church in North Carolina that has done several similar events and then took the proposal to the parks and recreation board which approved it. The next step was to find a service that could do the job, and TN Vertical Flight fit the bill, she said.

Sells said he mostly trains helicopter pilots but also operates a flight service that has experience dropping eggs for Easter events as well as golf balls for sporting events.