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One of the most popular events the Roanoke Rapids Parks and Recreation Department hosts is the annual Easter egg hunt.

T.J. Davis Recreation Center Supervisor Koy Worrell said in years past between 300 to 500 children would come to T.J. for the hunt.

Now, amid concerns over COVID-19, social distancing and the numbers of people at events, the department wanted to do something to keep the tradition alive.

The idea — Operation Egg Drop.

“Ryan and I came up with it together,” Worrell said, referring to Roanoke Canal Museum Cultural Resources Leader Ryan Newsome. “We wanted to come up with an alternative to still provide an egg hunt to kids who might not otherwise be able to attend an Easter egg hunt.”

Starting April 1, the department will allow people in the city limits of Roanoke Rapids only to call 252-533-2847 extension 3 and give their name, address and phone number. 

On April 8, Worrell and Newsome will come to the homes of the first 50 people who call and hide plastic Easter eggs filled with candy in their front yards between 8 a.m. and noon.

“With everything going on and kids out of school, we were looking for ways for kids to have some way to recreate since the opportunities are limited,” Worrell said.

Said Newsome: “We already had the Easter eggs purchased and we tried to figure out a way to use them.”

The first 50 who call will receive 50 eggs each, Worrell said.

“We will park at the curb and hide them in the front yard,” said Newsome.

Parks and recreation Director John Simeon said, “I’m very proud of Koy and Ryan for thinking outside the box and trying to assist the community. During these hard times I believe outdoor recreation is going to be a popular form of recreation and fitness.”

Worrell said the department’s next podcast on Monday will discuss Operation Egg Drop.