The Easter Bunny and Monte will look on as thousands of colorful eggs and candy are scooped up by western Montana children Saturday, March 30, when The University of Montana hosts the 13th annual Easter Eggstravaganza on the UM Oval.
Children ages 9 and under are invited to bring their baskets and search for thousands of eggs packed with Easter treats during western Montana’s largest egg hunt, which gets under way when the Main Hall bell tolls 1 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, and Mountain Line will provide free bus rides all day.
There will be separate sections for 0-2, 3, 4-5, 6-7 and 8-9 age groups. One lucky child in each age group who finds an egg with a special coupon will win a brand-new bicycle.
Children also can find special eggs with certificates that will bring them back to campus. UM has donated educational opportunities for children, including UM soccer and basketball camps, children’s dance lessons with UM Theatre & Dance, a birthday party at spectrUM Discovery Area, free passes to spectrUM and more.
“This is one of our favorite events to produce for the community,” said Andrea Lewis, event coordinator for University Relations. “So many generous donations from UM departments and businesses in the Missoula community make this event truly unique and super fun for the kids.”
During the event, parents can enter a free raffle for gift certificates to area businesses, including a $375 certificate for a family portrait session with Kristine Paulsen Photography.
KPAX chief weather forecaster Erin Yost and 102.5 Mountain FM radio morning personality Rick Sanders will emcee the event. The Easter Bunny, as well as mascots Monte, Bolt and Red will be on hand for the fun. At noon near the Grizzly Bear statue, kids can explore with spectrUM Discovery Area and the Montana Natural History Center and take a tour of a Mountain Line bus.
The Missoula Easter Eggstravaganza is organized by UM’s University Relations, with generous sponsorship from local businesses. The Sweets Barn, located in Lolo, donated 30,000 pieces of candy that will be spread over the four acres of Oval lawn. Student athletes and UM Advocate volunteers will help spread candy and eggs across the Oval the morning of the hunt, and UM students helped fill eggs leading up to the event.
NorthWestern Energy, The Sweets Barn and Mountain FM are the major sponsors of this year’s Eggstravaganza.
Additional cash sponsors include Missoula Federal Credit Union, Missoula Pediatric Dentistry, Freemasons Lodge No. 13, The Bookstore at UM, Eastgate Rental, Culligan Water and Republic Services of Montana.
University Relations also received in-kind donations of candy, prizes and coupons for free items or admission from 41 local businesses and organizations. In-kind donors include Baskin Robbins, Bernice’s Bakery, Blackjack Pizza, Café Rio, Carmike Cinema, Carousel for Missoula, Costco, Coldstone Creamery, Dairy Queen on Higgins Avenue, Exact Image, Great Harvest, Hoagieville, Import Market, Missoulian, Montana Ace Hardware, Murdoch’s, Natural Grocers, Natural History Center, Party City, Red Robin, Rosauer’s, Safeway, spectrUM, Taco Johns, The Huckleberry People, The Learning Tree, Tom Dooley’s, The Book Exchange, UM Basketball, UM Dining Services, UM Soccer, UM Theatre & Dance, UM Volleyball, University Center, University Center Theater, University Center Market, U-Swirl Frozen Yogurt, Wal-Mart Supercenter, Wal-Mart, Westside Lanes and Yo Waffle.
“Missoula has so much to offer young families and children,” said Lewis. “Many of those fun activities or beloved treats from area businesses can be found inside of eggs at this year’s Eggstravaganza. Because of their generosity, UM is able to continue this cherished community event.”
For more information call University Relations at 406-243-5478 or email Lewis at email@example.com.