08HopWith Easter just around the corner, an Easter egg hunt is a great way to have a fun and entertain the family. Festival Park is home to an epic annual event that includes thousands of eggs and much more. Epicenter Church presents Hop in the Park Friday, April 19, from 6-10 p.m. in Festival Park.

“Several years ago, we had a dream to do something for our community around Easter, and we know a lot of churches did Easter egg hunts. We did not want to do a typical Easter egg hunt,” said Mark Knight, lead pastor at Epicenter Church. “We had an idea to do something called Operation Egg Drop, where we were going to have a helicopter fly over a field and drop over 1,000 eggs — but someone from the city did not like that idea.”

That didn’t slow down the planning committee, though. Knight added that they planned for the next year and decided to do Hop in the Park. Originally, they planned to have 5,000 people in attendance. Thirteen thousand people showed up.

Since then, the event has grown every year. There have been as many as 30,000 people in attendance. 

Now, it’s so much more than an egg hunt. Hop in the Park is a family-friendly festival filled with wholesome activities and entertainment, including a skydiving Easter Bunny, egg hunts by age, huge inflatables, carnival rides, a movie in the park, live music, vendors, games, bouncy houses, food and much more.

“This event is a way for our church to follow one of the mantras we have, which is ‘save people, serve people,’” said Knight. “That represents victory for people who call themselves Christ followers, and that’s why we do it. The kids can come out to play, and we will have free food, cotton candy, hot dogs, pizza and drinks.”

Knight added they want to be known as a church that gives things away, which is why this event is free.

“This is something that we want to do to celebrate with our community. We want to show them there’s love in our community. ... We invite everyone to come out and enjoy this event.”

The event is free and open to the public. To register, visit www.hopinthepark.com.

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