While most children will spend this Sunday scanning the ground in search of Easter treasures, outside a church in New Orleans East all eyes will be on the sky.
That’s because at approximately 1 p.m., a helicopter will fly over a baseball field behind the church and, at a crucial moment, release 50,000 candy-filled Easter eggs to the crowd below.
“This is our fourth year doing the helicopter egg drop, and it just gets more and more popular every year,” says Jonathan Sorapuru, associate pastor of City Church New Orleans, 13123 Interstate 10 Service Road. “Last year, we had about 5,000 people come out for the event.”
Sorapuru said preparations begin six weeks before Easter, when volunteers for the church’s kid’s ministry start coming in to stuff the eggs. “For some, the stuffing of the eggs has become a real family tradition in and of itself,” he says. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s so worth it in the end.”
The Egg Drop this year will follow an 11 a.m. theatrical performance called “Risen” that the church is putting on in partnership with the International Bible Institute School of Film. Using more than 60 dancers, singers and musicians, the performance will portray Jesus’ last days before the resurrection. An earlier showing is set for 9 a.m.
For more information, call the church at (504) 246-5121.
Ready to roll again?
What’s a holiday in New Orleans without a parade? With a little planning, and a lot of stamina, parade lovers can actually catch all three of New Orleans’ Easter parades, starting with the Historic French Quarter Easter Parade, which starts at Antoine’s Restaurant (513 Royal Street) at 9:45 a.m. and ends at St. Louis Cathedral just in time for the 11 a.m. Mass.
Carriages pulled by mules share the route with vintage convertibles; riders promise plenty of stuffed animals and trinkets.
As the Historic French Quarter Parade ends, the 33rd annual Chris Owens French Quarter Easter Parade will begin its pre-parade celebrations at the Astor Crowne Hotel Ballroom with a continental breakfast, hat contest, silent auction and live entertainment.
At 1 p.m., the parade will start at the corner of Canal and Bourbon streets. This year, the parade will be honoring legendary local entertainers, one of which, the parade’s namesake, will be handing out a special throw this year — real carrots autographed by Chris Owens.
The parade returns to the Astor Crowne Hotel where revelers are invited to a champagne brunch and dancing to the Yat Pack.
Finishing the day with flair is the 17th annual Official Gay Easter Parade, which begins at 4:30 p.m. at the Armstrong Park archway.
This year’s grand marshals, Monica Synclaire-Kennedy and Ken GrandPre, will lead the festivities, which will be followed by a 6 p.m. post-parade party at GrandPre’s on 834 N. Rampart St.
Breakfast with Bunny
Of course there’s no shortage of traditional Easter egg hunts this Saturday. For those looking to share a breakfast with the bunny, St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church at 6017 Camphor St. in Metairie is hosting its “Once Upon A Time” Bunny Breakfast from 10 a.m. to noon. The free event includes breakfast and pictures, an egg hunt, games and crafts.
On the north shore, the Mandeville Trailhead Community Market Easter Celebration kicks off at 10 a.m. at 675 Lafitte St. In addition to an egg hunt and Easter Bunny pictures, the event will include a petting zoo, face painting, mini massages and treats from Elmer’s Candy.
At the same time, the Hammond Square Eggstravaganza at 411 Palace Drive in Hammond will feature carnival rides, a petting zoo and face painters, along with thousands of Easter eggs.
For young and old looking to strut their stuff in their finest spring chapeau, the St. Charles Parish 7th annual Easter Egg Hunt at West Bank Bridge Park, 13825 River Road in Luling, will be holding an Easter hat contest at 10 a.m. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. A benefit for the Special Olympics, the event has a suggested donation of $2 per person that includes games and an egg hunt separated into three age divisions. Pictures with the Easter Bunny are $5.
Bunny Bar Hop
For bunnies over the age of 21, Easter continues Saturday night with the 8th annual Nola Bunarchy Bar Hop, a benefit for Hail Mary Animal Rescue. The Hop starts at 6 p.m. at Marie’s Bar, then moves at 7 p.m. to Mimi’s in the Marigny, then 8 p.m. at St. Roch Tavern, 9:30 p.m. at The Allways Lounge. Passes are $10 each and available at Funrock’n (1125 Decatur St.)
Come Sunday, those looking to squeeze in one last hunt can head to English Turn’s 28th annual Easter Brunch and Egg Hunt from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.