If you are at all familiar with the celebration of Easter, you probably have heard of some of the traditions associated with the holiday. Coloring eggs, preparing baskets and consuming your weight in chocolate and jellybeans are all part of the festivities. Oh, and attending church, of course.
A beloved tradition in my family — and I’m sure many others — over Easter weekend is the Easter egg hunt, a marvelous competition between friends and family members to find colored plastic eggs filled with candy or money, if your grandparents are feeling particularly generous.
For my family, the Easter egg hunt always took place on the beach in Kennebunkport, Maine. My parents, aunt and uncle carefully hid dozens of neon eggs as my cousins, sister and I impatiently waited for the moment we were set free to pick them out of the crevasses of the rocks that lined the shore or dig them out of the sand.
While my cousins and I always managed to keep our competition civil, other egg hunts seem to have gotten far more intense.
According to The Washington Post, “an Easter egg hunt in Connecticut turned dark over the weekend after organizers said adult attendees, ‘rushed the field and took everything,’ behaving ‘kind of like locusts.’”
PEZ general manager Shawn Peterson said, “the candy company hid more than 9,000 eggs Saturday on three separate fields at the PEZ visitor center in Orange, not far from New Haven. Staggered start times were planned for different age groups.”
Some parents, however, completely disregarded the rules, leading to a chaotic and unsafe situation for all attendees involved.
Parents began rushing the field before the allotted time, causing confusion and even instances of eggs being taken from children. “Somebody pushed me over and take my eggs,” Vincent Welch, 4, told NBC Connecticut, “and it’s very rude of them and they broke my bucket.”
Other parents and pint-sized participants also made claims of foul play during the hunt. Some argued that the reports of pushing, shoving and stealing eggs all resulted from parents blatantly disregarding the start times while others declared the event was poorly planned to begin with, which caused the calamity.
Many people took to social media sites such as Facebook to express their disappointment and concern over the entire debacle.
“It’s so sad that it was ruined by adults who didn’t listen,” one wrote, “and then can’t take responsibility for their actions.”
While the situation was completely disheartening, the PEZ staff attempted to rebuild the lighthearted atmosphere that the day intended to bring.
“We made efforts to get everyone something before they left and passed out tons of candy and coupons at the front entry and tried to make the best of an unfortunate situation,” PEZ wrote in a statement.
It is my sincere hope that in the future, parents work to set a better example for their children in regard to following rules and treating others with respect. No amount of candy could ever surmount that.