UM Hosts 16th Annual Easter Eggstravaganza with Support From Garden of Read’n

March 17, 2016

Children scoop up eggs, prizes and candy during UM’s Easter Eggstravaganza

MISSOULA – The University of Montana Oval will be transformed into a sea of colorful eggs and mouthwatering treats on Saturday, March 26, during the region’s largest Easter egg hunt.            

Because of support from Missoula business Garden of Read’n, the University is once again able to host this event for western Montana children.

In 2015, Michael Burks, owner of the Garden of Read’n, stepped up as the organizer and underwriter of the event when it was at risk of being canceled. With a mere two weeks to pull the event together, Burks and his staff committed to continuing this treasured community event. This year, Garden of Read’n has returned as the presenting sponsor and plans to make the event better than ever.

“This is really all about the kids,” Burks said. “This year we wanted to bring in some new elements that will enhance the event. Now kids and their families can look forward to a fire truck, a police car, a food truck, a bounce house and a hockey shootout game.”

Garden of Read’n will donate 30,000 eggs filled with candy and prizes. Local businesses and organizations also have donated thousands of coupons for free items or admission. Children ages 9 and under are invited to bring their baskets and search for the thousands of eggs during the hunt, which gets underway when the Main Hall bell tolls 1 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. 

There will be separate age-group sections for 0-2, 3, 4-5, 6-7 and 8-9. There also will be special certificates in each section for larger prizes, such as UM summer camps and dance lessons, cooking classes from Taste Buds Kitchen, a punch pass to the Montana Natural History Center, deluxe Easter baskets and one brand-new bike in each age section.

KPAX Chief Meteorologist Erin Yost and Zoo FM radio personality Billy Jenkins will emcee the event. The Easter Bunny, as well as UM mascot Monte and Maulers mascot Slash, will be on hand for the fun.

Participants are encouraged to bike, bus, carpool or walk to campus. The Mountain Line’s Saturday route schedules can be found online at

The Missoula Easter Eggstravaganza is presented and organized by the Garden of Read’n with help from UM’s University Relations. Other sponsors include Northwestern Energy, Republic Services, Missoula Pediatric Dentistry, The M Store and Culligan Water.

This year, members of the Kappa Sigma fraternity will volunteer for the event as part of their national day of service. Nearly 40 fraternity members, together with the UM Advocates, a student ambassador group, will help spread candy and eggs across the Oval the morning of the hunt. 

For more information call Garden of Read’n Manager Kiomi Burks at 406-728-3032 or email, or call University Relations Event Coordinator Andrea Lewis at 406-243-5478 or email

Contact: Michael Burks, Easter Eggstravagaza organizer, 406-728-3032,; Andrea Lewis, event coordinator, UM’s University Relations, 406-243-5478,