ORANGE, Connecticut — An Easter egg hunt in Connecticut turned into a shoving match on Saturday, March 26th and ended with broken baskets and children in tears. In this case, it was the adults who could have used a “time out.”
The field adjacent to the PEZ Visitor Center in Orange, Connecticut was the site of a holiday Easter egg hunt that was free and open to the public.
Throughout the week leading up to the event, it attracted a lot of attention on the PEZ Facebook page.
Pictures show the massive crowd building on Saturday.
The event was supposed to take place in three stages — broken down into age groups — with the youngest children first, and eventually 12 year olds, the oldest group.
The parents didn’t pay much attention to procedure. In fact, according to reports, a lot of the adults on hand didn’t stand still.
“When it came time for like 10:30, the parents just bum-rushed that area,” Nicole Welch said.
“So we started talking to folks and, ‘hey, you know, this is supposed to start at a…directed time that we’ve posted. Let’s wait. We’ll give a whistle. We’ll give the signal to start this.’ And that lasted about a minute. And then folks just rushed the field and took everything,” Shawn Peterson, PEZ general manager said.
“When my son left he had a broken basket and was hysterically crying,” Welch said.
Peterson and his staff tried to regain control, but things quickly spiraled out of control.
“It was like locusts. Everybody just descended and then left,” Peterson said.
It left PEZ officials with a lot of disappointed children.
As a backup plan, company officials started handing out free stuff, but for many, the lines were too long and the mood wasn’t right.
“It’s unfortunate people left disappointed. And that’s certainly never the goal. Just, you know, it’s supposed to be a fun, free activity and we did our best and unfortunately fell a little short,” Peterson said.
There were no reports of any injuries.
Police didn’t respond to the event, but they did speak with PEZ officials afterwards.