EVART — About 16,000 eggs filled with candy and toys will be quickly snatched up by hundreds of children ages 12 and younger during the annual Easter Egg Drop in Evart.

"It gets bigger every year and I enjoy it every year," said Evart Local Development Finance Authority Director Melora Theunick. "It's kind of a rite of passage for spring."

This year's popular event will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 4, at the Evart Municipal Airport, and also will feature cookies and punch beginning at noon. Three separate drops will take place to accommodate ages 1 through 4, 5 to 7 and 8 through 12. The child who finds a golden ticket hidden in one of the thousands of eggs will receive a special prize.

In years past, eggs have been dropped from a plane, but this year attendees will be treated to drops from a helicopter. About 5,000 eggs are expected to fall from the sky, Theunick added.

"Part of the fun is the kids will get to walk around the helicopter, which not all kids get to do often," she said. "It's good education for them and it's good PR for the airport."

The Easter Egg Drop is the largest of its kind in the area, attracting families from as far as Holland.

This year's event also will feature a bike raffle. Tickets will be sold for $1 apiece and attendees will have the chance to win one of two children's bicycles and one of two adult bicycles.

"We're right by the trail and we're trying to encourage people to be bikers as a family," Theunick said.

To make the event as big as it has to be to accommodate all attendees, the Evart Area Chamber of Commerce is teaming up with the Evart Downtown Development Authority, Evart Local Development Finance Authority, Evart Fire Department, Evart Moose Lodge, Evart Department of Public Works, the City of Evart and the Evart Police Department and Community Emergency Response Team.

The Easter Egg Drop costs about $2,500 to host, with $2,000 spent on the eggs alone. Other details, including food, preparation items, and manpower to create a safe environment is all provided by the community. Theunick said the chamber is always accepting monetary donations to keep the event up and running each year.

"We could not do this event without everyone's support and donations," Theunick added. "Evart is all about the kids. If it's for the children, we always support it."