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First-ever helicopter egg drop highlights Easter ‘hoppenings’

In the words of Chantal Zarbaugh, the special events coordinator for The Coconut Marketplace, and Lexi Jones, who emcee-ed the Easter festivities at the mall on the Coconut Coast, “Hoppy Easter!”

The Easter bunny was at the center of everything, greeting keiki and guiding them through mazes of colored eggs, many containing special goodies for finders.

“This is the busiest day of my year,” said Brenda Biehler of Showtime Characters. “I have an Easter bunny here at the Coconut Marketplace, there’s another at Gaylord’s at Kilohana Estates, and we need to be at Kukuiula this afternoon. There are just not enough of us bunnies around.”

In addition to greeting keiki and families, the Easter bunny also distracted egg hunters while monitors sprinkled the colorful orbs to be discovered.

At the north Vidinha Stadium soccer fields, the Easter bunny got help from Sunshine Helicopters, which performed what is believed to be a Kauai first-ever helicopter egg drop, with 5,000 colorful plastic eggs, to the delight of hundreds of keiki and their families, hosted by New Hope Church.

“This is all for the keiki,” said the Rev. John Cabello, pastor. “The heart behind this event is to bless our community. We have 5,000 eggs already on the ground, and the helicopter is dropping another 5,000 for the keiki. We just want to be a blessing to our community and have fun.”

The Easter bunny also was joined by real counterparts at the Kauai Marriott Resort &Beach Club, where the M. Kawamura Farm Enterprises staff and Kawamura ohana hosted its petting zoo for the 24th year.

“I have never seen a red chick before,” said Paris Rodriguez, visiting from Arizona. “How do they get red, or blue?”

Karen Kawamura explained that she uses food coloring to “paint” the chicks, towel-dries them, and blow-dries them to set the color.

“This is for the adults,” Ed Kawamura Sr. said. “They can leave the kids here while they go enjoy the buffet across the way.”

Out on the waters of Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor, the Easter bunny was known as “Uncle Bunny,” as certified sailing instructor Carl Andersson sprouted bunny ears for the annual water Easter egg hunt hosted by the Kauai Sailing Association.

“You don’t want all of the eggs,” said Charlotte Ross of the Nawiliwili Yacht Club. “Some of the eggs have negative points. There’s also a hula hoop that Uncle Bunny tosses out. The sailors can jump through the hoop for extra points. I think everyone has more fun in the water than out.”

An egg-hunting family collected its bounty of eggs, and thoughts from the hunt that lasted for just seconds.

“We didn’t get the golden egg,” said the father of one family. “We’re going to keep doing this until we find the golden egg. Which one is next?”

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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