Children race to collect marshmallows dropped from a helicopter at a Detroit-area park

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In this photo made from video, a child points to the sky, where a helicopter had dropped thousands of marshmallows to a park below in Southfield, Mich., on Friday, March 29, 2024. The annual Great Marshmallow Drop took place at Catalpa Oaks County Park in Southfield, Michigan, and was hosted by Oakland County Parks. (AP Photo/Mike Householder)

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – It rained marshmallows at a suburban Detroit park on Friday as children raced to snatch up thousands of the gooey treats being dropped from a helicopter.

The annual Great Marshmallow Drop took place at Catalpa Oaks County Park in Southfield, hosted by Oakland County Parks.

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Hundreds of children waved and cheered as the helicopter passed by on its way to the drop zone. Once there, a passenger dumped the treats out of a sack and onto the grass below and children darted to collect them.

Officials stressed that although the fluffy treats are tempting, they must not be eaten because they hit the ground. Instead, kids exchanged the marshmallows they collected for a prize bag containing candy, a coloring book and a one-day pass to a water park.

Speaking before the event, Melissa Nawrocki, Oakland County recreation program supervisor, said 15,000 marshmallows would be dropped.

“It was just a celebration. The weather is beautiful, so we were happy to get outdoors and interact and pick up some marshmallows,” said Robin Kinnie, the mother of three Great Marshmallow Drop participants, one of whom took part in a special drop reserved for children with disabilities.

The helicopter made four passes, dropping marshmallows aimed at kids in three age categories: 4-year-olds and younger; 5 to 7 year olds, and those 8 to 12 years old. The drop for children with disabilities came later in the day.

“Being a special needs mom, I love seeing events like these that are catered toward him, so he doesn’t feel excluded,” Kinnie said.

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