MISSOULA – The Easter Bunny and Monte will look on as thousands of colorful eggs and candy are scooped up by western Montana children Saturday, April 19, when the Mountain Broadcasting Foundation hosts the 14th annual Easter Eggstravaganza on the University of Montana 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 underway 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. Because of a large volume of UM events taking place April 19, participants are encouraged to bike, bus, carpool or walk to campus. Mountain Line’s Saturday route schedules can be found online at http://www.mountainline.com/maps-schedules/route-schedules/.
There will be separate age-group 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 year membership to spectrUM Discovery Area, free day passes to spectrUM, free entrance to the Kyi-Yo Celebration and more.
“This is one of our favorite events to produce for the community,” said Sheila Callahan, president of Mountain Broadcasting Foundation, which has taken over producing this event for the community. “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.
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, learn more about the Kyi-Yo Celebration and take a tour of a Mountain Line bus.
The Missoula Easter Eggstravaganza is organized by the Mountain Broadcasting Foundation with help from UM’s University Relations and generous sponsorship from local businesses. Volunteers from the community and UM Advocates will help spread candy and eggs across the Oval the morning of the hunt. UM and Missoula Sentinel High School students and Mountain FM staff helped fill eggs leading up to the event. The Sweets Barn, located in Lolo and downtown Missoula, donated 30,000 pieces of candy that will be spread over the four acres of Oval lawn. Additional support on campus and at the event will come from KBGA Radio, the student-run station at UM.
NorthWestern Energy, The Sweets Barn and Mountain102.5 FM are the major sponsors of this year’s Eggstravaganza.
Additional cash sponsors include Missoula Federal Credit Union, Freemasons Lodge No. 13, Eastgate Rental, Culligan Water, Republic Services of Montana, Merrill Lynch and Garlington, Lohn & Robinson.
University Relations also received in-kind donations of candy, prizes and coupons for free items or admission from 41 local businesses and organizations.
“Missoula has so much to offer young families and children,” Callahan said. “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, we are able to continue this cherished community event.”
For more information call Callahan at 406-880-1025 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.