I figured I better write about the big weekend before I completely forget the details. Even now in the tired aftermath, the weekend is starting to blur. First off, let me start by saying it was a BEAUTIFUL day! We couldn’t have asked for better weather considering it was the end of March. I got slightly sunburned, so you know the sun was out and glorious! The weather is a big factor in our attendance and just like years past this day was epic. We added extra parking in our fields so we’re fairly positive we beat last year’s numbers. The guesstimate was that 8,000 people visited the church between both hunts. The number of kids would be around 3,000. It’s not an exact science though… just like we don’t really know that there were 70,000 eggs – could have been plus or minus a couple thousand. No biggie.
The day starts off early for Jeremy and I. We’re the first ones to the church after a stop at McDonald’s. This is the one day a year that I get breakfast there and let me tell you, I love McGriddles. I know that in concept they are gross and terrible for you, but that usually means it’s a food I’ll adore. I enjoyed my special breakfast treat and surprisingly it all settled well on my stomach. I had packed a lunch that ate about 11:30am, but the McGriddle kept me good until then. I guess I could consider that another miracle of the day. It’s nice to be the church before all the crowds and craziness starts. The calm before the storm. I put up a few last minute signs and made sure lights were on and doors unlocked. At 8:00am, we start hiding eggs and by 9:00am we had people arriving. It always amazes me how early people show up for these events. Now that our Easter Eggstravaganza has grown so big, people feel the need to arrive early to get in the lines first and to get the better parking spots.
The first hunt was the busiest this year. I’m sure it has to do with the weather. Even though last year was nice, the fog was still starting to wear off at our first hunt which made the second one better attended. This year it was the opposite. The day was clear and the sun was out and the people showed up for the first hunt. The second one was the smaller hunt. It’s funny to me how unpredictable things like that can be. I would have sworn the pattern would hold true and we’d have a small first and a big second. Now I’ll be curious to see what happens next year. Is there any pattern? We’ll find out.
As always the petting zoo was a hit! We had a two week old piglet there that was very vocal and very loved. We had calves that were literally days old. We had chicks and ducks and turkeys. We had goats and lambs. It was a good a showing of cute and cuddly barnyard animals. The pony rides as always had a major line. The poor ponies can’t give rides fast enough. If I was one of those ponies, I would twitch if I saw another kids for a while. They were troopers! Applebees had a table where they did face-painting and they gave away free meal coupons to kids. They also brought the Applebee’s Bee and the Easter Bunny (full size costumes). The bee was especially popular. Oh and we can’t forget the four inflatables! We had a giant slide, two obstacle course and a jungle tunnel. Our coffee cart did great in sales and we sold a ton of cotton candy! We have some cotton candy pros now at our church after doing this for two years. They know their stuff! Walking past that booth always smells so good!
It was a big weekend. I was at the church for about 14 hours that day. We ran home for less than 25 minutes to change and show back up for our evening service. We had a ton of kids at both our children’s church hours. It was great to see many visitors and people who came back because of the egg hunts. After two egg hunts, three weekend services and two family dinners, I will admit that Easter weekend almost did me in! I’m still not really recovered. I took a nice long nap yesterday and today was a quiet day in the office to reclaim our space and clear out the remnants of the weekend. It feels good to have the details in place and behind us. This is a great event and truly a fun weekend. I’m not sure I have the energy to keep up with it, but somehow it works out every year – God’s grace! Below are a few photos from the big day!