Some of the 10,000 eggs will contain coupons for prizes that include a Nintendo Wii and an iPad 2.
The sky over Oak-Land Junior High in Lake Elmo won't be falling Saturday, but thousands of plastic colored Easter eggs will be dropping from overhead.
A helicopter will fly over the school at precisely 11:15 a.m. and drop the eggs on the athletic field. Then children age 12 and younger will be able snatch up as many as they can fit into a small bag that will be provided. Most of the 10,000 eggs will contain individually wrapped pieces of candy, but some will contain coupons that can be redeemed for prizes, including an iPad 2, a Nintendo Wii, an American Girl doll and a bicycle and helmet.
"In this economy, we wanted to find a practical way for people to have fun," said the Rev. Trent Redmann, lead pastor of Valley Creek Church, which is putting on the Easter Egg Drop. "We also want to show that our church cares about kids."
Church officials are going to great lengths to make sure the event doesn't become a free-for-all and that older children don't muscle younger ones out of the way. The field will be divided into four sections. Children will receive a wrist band and be sent to the section of the field that corresponds to their age. Parents will not be allowed on the field, except for the zone set aside for children age 3 and under, Redmann said.
More than 80 volunteers will supervise the event and hand out prizes. They also will help with registration, which will start at 10 a.m. and be capped at 1,000. Music and entertainment by the Easter Bunny will prime kids for the hunt.
The Easter Egg Drop is the church's biggest outreach of the year, and it's costly, too. Redmann said the church is spending $7,000 to put on the day-before-Easter event. Those costs included buying prizes and advertising through post cards, yard signs, coffee shop posters and radio advertisements. The effort also includes working with a Florida organization that hires people with disabilities. They stuffed the eggs and sent them to Minnesota.
Through the egg drop, Redmann hopes those looking for a church might give Valley Creek a try on Easter Sunday. The congregation, with weekly attendance of about 250, offers programming for all ages and has Sunday services at 9:30 and 11 a.m. at Oak-Land Junior High, 820 Manning Av.
"We believe that every Sunday should be the best day of every week," Redmann said.
That might be true, but for the kids who are lucky enough to find eggs with coupons for the grand prizes, their best day this week might be Saturday.
Tim Harlow • 651-735-1824 Follow Tim on Twitter @timstrib