In bunny ears, with painted faces, holding baskets, they watched.
First as a black helicopter flew into view against a big blue sky, and then as tens of thousands of multi-coloured plastic eggs dropped from the heavens.
“Wow,” gasped a little girl wearing a heart polka-dot sweater at the front of the line, where she had earlier proudly proclaimed, “I’m the first one!”
In moments, she was gone, running toward the eggs, ready to hunt.
#WeheartOttawa, a not-for-profit group launched in 2008, organized what was arguably the coolest Easter egg hunt the city’s ever seen on Saturday, dropping some 45,000 eggs filled with more than 100,000 pieces of chocolate over the grounds of the aviation museum for thousands of kids chanting, “Drop the eggs.”
Kids sat on the grass, opening the eggs and eating their spoils, as Silento’s Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) played on the loudspeaker.
“I got some Easter eggs,” said little lamb Cloe Rose Horrigan, two (and a half), with just a little bit of chocolate still on her face.
For organizer Shawn Gabie, 33, “It’s a way to give back to our community.” About 200 volunteers with the organization, all wearing sleek black hoodies emblazoned with the group’s hashtag, are all part of Kingdom Culture, a Christian church where Gabie and his wife, Michelle, are pastors. Other sponsors came on board to donate prizes and resources to help make the event possible.
The group watched a video of a similar drop in 2006 and thought it would be cool to try the same thing in Ottawa. Their first attempt last year didn’t work out, so they tried again in 2017.
“We’re just thankful that we can invest into our city with really no agenda than to just give back.”
Gabie said nearly 3,000 kids had registered for the event but he didn’t have final numbers for the day’s attendees. As far as whether he and his team will try to top themselves next year?