By Brandi Makuski
The 2018 Easter egg roll has been scheduled for March 31.
Families from all over Central Wisconsin are welcome to the event, where thousands of youngsters race for their share of the 14,000 plastic eggs filled with candy—some containing special prize slips.
“There will be a very nice surprise for some of the boys and girls, with a slip that says they’ve won a bicycle,” said Rick Muzzy of Muzzy Broadcasting, the event’s main sponsor.
A total of seven bicycles have been donated for prizes this year, he said—six from Dave Suchon, owner of Dave’s Body Shop, and one from AFSCME.
Muzzy added that two local radio stations, 97.9 an B104.9, will be broadcasting live from the event. Children will be released to dash for the eggs in three groups: ages 3 and under; ages 4-6; and ages 7-8, beginning at 10:30 AM in the parking lot of Mid-State Technical College, 1001 Center Point Drive.
“It’s not a city function.”
The Easter egg roll has been a staple in the city’s springtime events for decades, and until 2016 had been funded through the city’s special events fund. But due to a change in state law last year, Parks Director Tom Schrader said that funding can now only be used to promote tourism in the city.
“Unless it puts heads in [hotel] beds, we can’t use that fund,” Schrader said. “So for events like the Easter egg roll, the group who sponsors it has to raise the funds for it. It’s not a city function.”
The event has also changed venues in recent years. Previously held at Pfiffner Pioneer Park each spring, the event was moved to the Mid-State parking lot because it, as Schrader put it, “wreaked havoc on the grass.” Considering the event wasn’t a moneymaker for the city, Schrader said it was cost-prohibitive to spend city resources repairing the damage on an annual basis.
The event is operated by the Stevens Point Optimist Club, Schrader said. A message left for club leaders was not immediately returned.
The egg roll almost didn’t happen in 2017. About two weeks before the event was regularly scheduled, it had been quietly called off due to lack of funding. Schrader said the cost of the 14,000+ pre-filled plastic eggs is about $1,800, and no sponsor had been identified to carry the cost until Mayor Mike Wiza reportedly located a sponsor at the last minute, who was willing to donate the funds anonymously.
“But that’s understandable; for years [the city] struggled to find sponsors for this event,” Schrader added.
The same was almost true this year, according to Wiza, who said Muzzy was secured to donate the funding just weeks out.
“We’re still reaching out for additional sponsors, but don’t have a final list yet,” Muzzy said.
Anyone interested in providing additional assistance should contact Muzzy at (715) 341-9800.