An estimated 1,500 to 2,000 children and parents attended the second annual Spring Carnival and Egg-Stravaganza at Byne Memorial Baptist Church Saturday. In addition to the Christian music, fire truck, and 35 to 40 games for children, some ten thousand plastic eggs were dropped by helicopter for kids to redeem for candy.(Jim West)
ALBANY, Ga. — No actual eggs were harmed in the execution of Saturday’s spring Carnival and Egg-stravaganza, but the clouds of 10,000 red, green, orange and purple plastic Easter eggs drifting from a helicopter to an open field were a sight to behold. Of course, none of the artificial eggs remained there long before hundreds of screaming Southwest Georgia
children were there to scoop them up and trade them for candy.
Matthew Nance, pastor of Byne Memorial Baptist Church on Ledo Road, said the event was in its second year. Byne partnered with Greenbriar Church for last year’s egg drop.
“Greenbriar is moving to a new facility on Gillionville Road,” Nance said, “and so they’re getting ready for a big Easter over there.”
According to Nance, more than 1,000 pre-registrations for the event had been received, with as many as 2,000 expected to attend — up from around six hundred last year.
“We’ve doubled our games for this one,” Nance said, “with 35 or 40 different games. We have fire trucks for the kids to climb around on and bump their heads.”
In fact, there were inflated castles to bounce around inside, as well as a pink flamingo toss, basket toss, balloon dark board, face-painting and other carnival-style attractions, mostly geared toward young children. At the Chehaw Park booth, Education Director Joni Burnette showed children docile animals including a skunk, a ball python, a ferret and a Madagascar hissing cockroach. The event was free to the public, including hotdogs for the first 1,000 people.
“Even donations aren’t accepted,” Nance said. “This is just to bless the community because Jesus died and rose again. We have life and we want to share life and God’s goodness.”
Nance said that after the helicopter egg drop, there would be drawings for prizes and for the first who put together a certain puzzle that had been “going around.”
As zero hour approached, the throng of people in attendance was allowed inside the drop zone, an enclosed field adjacent to the church, and instructed to stand against the fence until the chopper made its initial drop. Greg Ware, Byne youth minister and organizer of the event, began to whip the crowd into a frenzy.
“Say it with me now,” Ware shouted through his bullhorn, “We want eggs! We want eggs!”
Ware was soon drowned out.
“We want eggs!” yelled the crowd in unison.
“Wait until you hear this sound before you run to get the eggs,” Ware said, and gave a blast from a special horn.
In the face of a hovering helicopter shoveling out multi-colored plastic candy vouchers, some children remained along the fence. Many others didn’t. Clutching bags and baskets in their tight little fists, they ran full-out to the patch of rainbow-colored ground.
The chopper turned and dropped another load on a nearby vacant section. Then came another wild stampede and the sounds of something like a rebel yell.
After several more deposits, most kids had a pretty fair haul of eggs.
“I had a great time today,” said five-year-old Harley Jarvis of Tallahassee. “We did the bouncy house and the fire truck and everything. I’m going to have pizza and hot dogs for lunch.”
This weekend is the first that Harley’s dad, Corey Jarvis, has seen his daughter for Easter and they “had a blast” together, Corey Jarvis said.