Easter egg helicopter drop coming Saturday to Northeast Philly

A Tacony church is organizing a 30,000-egg hunt and helicopter drop Saturday afternoon at the River Fields on State Road.

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Thousands of eggs are expected to rain down from a helicopter Saturday in what may be Northeast Philadelphia’s most over-the-top Easter event ever.

Tacony’s CityReach Church, in conjunction with Sixth District Councilman Bobby Henon’s Office, is organizing the free egg drop, which will take place at 2 p.m. at the River Fields along State Road near Rhawn Street.

A total of 30,000 Easter eggs will be up for grabs for children ages 3 to 12. Some will be scattered around the park, and others will be launched from a privately owned helicopter, according to CityReach Pastor Mark Novales.

“I think it’s going to be an amazing time,” he said. “I think it’s going to be historic for the city. Nobody’s done it before.”

Novales said he and his wife, Wanda, read about a church in Florida that did an Easter egg helicopter drop. They mentioned it at a block party last August to representatives from Henon’s office, and the ball was rolling.

“It’s a draw,” Henon said. “It’s something that’s never been done before in the City of Philadelphia.”

“We’re anticipating 1,500 people there,” he added.

Frankford Candy donated 10,000 eggs, and the church purchased 20,000. Most will be filled with candy, but 500 “golden eggs” will contain gift certificates and cash, Novales said.

Kids will be separated into different sections by age group and will be roped off until the eggs are dropped from the helicopter, Novales said. He estimated that the helicopter will be 150 to 200 feet off the ground when the eggs are released.

Novales said CityReach hopes the festivities bring the Northeast Philadelphia community together, and all are welcome at the event.

“It’s really just the experience for the kids,” he said. “Something different.”

The helicopter will drop the eggs only in good weather. Novales said he and others from the church have been checking the forecast daily.

In the event of inclement weather, the Easter egg hunt would move inside CityReach Church, 6814 Torresdale Ave.

In addition to the egg drop, the event, dubbed “The Easter Experience,” will feature food, games, prizes, face painting, bouncy houses, activities for younger children and a visit from the Easter Bunny.

All activities will be free, and registration for the egg drop begins at noon. Novales said free parking will be available.

CityReach will also be distributing 1,000 Easter meals to those in need.  

The Easter Experience is also being co-hosted by Easter Outreach, the City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the Philadelphia Police Department. Sponsors include Walmart, the Tacony Community Development Corporation, AmeriHealth Caritas, the Tacony Civic Association, Sannutti Funeral Home, the 8th, 15th and 25th police districts, Wawa Community Cares, Frankford Candy and St. Bernard’s Catholic Church. ••

Jack Tomczuk can be reached at jtomczuk@newspapermediagroup.com