Getting egg-cited

Easter Egg Hunt set for Saturday in Norway

THE 25TH ANNUAL Easter Egg Hunt will be 1 p.m. Saturday at Marion Park in Norway. Organizers Becky and Terry Kleikamp trailers of treat-filled eggs and prizes for the free event. From left are organizer Becky Kleikamp holding 2-year-old Vera Fish, 6-year-old Mikah Polakowski, 4-year-old Zoe Arnold and organizer Terry Kleikamp. (Terri Castelaz/Daily News photo)

NORWAY — What is touted to be the largest Easter egg hunt in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will take place Saturday at Marion Park in Norway.

The countdown to the 25th annual hunt will begin at 1 p.m. Participants are encouraged to arrive no later than noon to allow time to park and find their correct age group. Parking is available either in Marion Park on U.S. 8 or across the highway at the Dickinson County Fairgrounds.

Children are divided into four age groups for the event: 3 and younger, 4 and 5, 6 and 7, and 8 to 10. Each of these groups will have their own taped-off area, loaded with eggs — close to 50,000 in total. The eggs are filled with candy or, with 4,000 or 1,000 per each age group, a prize ticket.

“Those tickets will be matched with a corresponding prize to be claimed in the pavilion,” said organizer Becky Kleikamp. “We also have 36 bikes as grand prizes.”

Prizes need to be claimed by 3 p.m. Saturday at the event, she added.

The Kleikamp family of Norway took over coordinating the big event nine years ago. It takes months of work, including starting Jan. 1 getting together every Sunday to fill eggs.

Come Saturday, “we will be hauling four trailers full of the eggs and prizes,” said her husband, Terry Kleikamp.

After all the years of coordinating the event, they have it down to a science, he said.

“Everything runs smooth — we begin ‘hiding’ eggs at 8:30 a.m. and gives us plenty of time to set up,” he said.

Children who attend also can visit with the Easter Bunny as well as Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

“Everyone is encouraged to bring their cameras,” she said.

Saturday’s weather forecast for now looks perfect — mostly sunny skies, temperatures reaching 60. But even if worse conditions develop, the egg hunt goes on.

“Regardless of the weather — the event will not be canceled,” Becky Kleikamp said. “No matter what the weather conditions — rain or snow — we still have thousands show.”

Organizers again will have a donation table where anyone can contribute $5, as many times as they would like, to win one of 25 prizes.

“You also do not need to have a child at the hunt to donate for your chance to win,” Becky Kleikamp said. “This is how we are able to raise money to shop for items all year long when they go on sale.”

The Kleikamps have been able to keep this a free activity for the kids from the many donations from organizations, businesses and individuals throughout the year. All prizes also been donated by generous donors, Becky Kleikamp noted.

They include a ShopVac from Home Depot; a necklace, bracelet and earrings from Kingsley North in Norway; a pink helmet from Redline Sport and Marine in Norway; collector trucks from Wittock Kitchen & Bath in Kingsford; collector dolls and a bobble head from Superior Carpet & Hobby of Iron Mountain; four car detailings from Classic Auto Collision of Kingsford; 30-minute helicopter tour from Valley Med Flight; Redwings mirror from Four Seasons Beer Distributors of Kingsford; black bike from Terry and Becky Kleikamp; gift basket No. 1, NFL jersey certificate from Norway Mercantile and a $25 GDove certificate; gift basket No. 2, $25 Stop Light fish fry and $25 GDove certificate; gift basket No. 3, $25 GDove certificate, Main Street Pizza, Norway Knight sweatshirt certificate from Norway Mercantile; gift basket No. 4, $25 GDove certificate and $25 Thirsty Whale certificates; gift basket No. 5, nine local restaurant certificates for various items and Norway Mercantile certificate; gift basket No. 6, 10 local restaurant certificates and $10 State Farm gift card, American Girl Doll donated by Kaad Family Dentistry and a pogo stick from the Salvation Army.

Most of the donated items can be viewed on Facebook at Norway Community Easter Egg Hunt.

Those who want to donate or have other questions can contact Kleikamp at 906-563-7289.