An Easter egg hunt in Connecticut sponsored by PEZ candy was canceled after a handful of hoggish moms and dads rushed the field, shoved kids aside and starting hording up eggs before their scheduled start time. Another holiday – another example of boorish parents obliterating the fun for the rest.
Reports The Associated Press on March 27, via MSN News: “Saturday’s event at the visitor center of candy company Pez in Orange, Connecticut, drew hundreds of people, some of whom ignored the rules. Event organizers placed more than 9,000 eggs on three fields with the intention of having staggered start times for each age group. But PEZ officials say parents didn’t wait.”
The Easter egg hunt – the third annual activity put on by PEZ (and perhaps the last) – drew hundreds of families to the PEZ Visitor Center in Orange, Conn.
Three separate fields hid thousands of eggs, and children were to be broken up by age groups. The start time was 10:30 in the morning, but what was supposed to be an organized, family event turned into a chaotic, Black Friday-like free-for-all.
Pez General Manager Shawn Peterson said the crowd was “kind of like locusts,” and that despite the rules, parents just did what they wanted. “Everyone just rushed the field and took everything,” Peterson said.
“When it came time, at like 10:30 a.m., the parents just bum-rushed that area,” West Haven resident Nicole Welch told CNN affiliate WFSB. “When my son left, he had a broken basket, and he was hysterically crying.” Welch said her boy was “traumatized.”
Officials said kids as young as three and four years of age were pushed aside and trampled by older kids – and parents – who were snatching up eggs as if they were made of gold. Some parents were even burgling baskets – putting their sticky fingers into other children’s baskets and making off with their eggs.
“This event was a joke to put it mildly,” commented parent Susan Kristie Nadori DeRose on PEZ’s Facebook page. “We have a 3-year-old. The parents, first of all, were letting their uncontrolled children pick up eggs prior to the start. Then when the event started all the parents rushed in and we’re picking up the eggs.”
PEZ released a statement, read here, stating that they distributed prizes and coupons for free candy to the parents.
“We made efforts to get everyone something before they left and passed out tons of candy and coupons and the front entry and tried to make the best of an unfortunate situation. Due to the actions of a few, the good intent quickly turned into a mess. I would like to sincerely apologize to each of our guests, this was not something created to frustrate or make people angry. We only wanted to do good for the local community.”
Police did not respond to the PEZ Easter egg event, though they did contact PEZ officials afterwards to get a statement.