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Easter egg hunt cancelled over parent behavior

Parents' aggression over trying to get Easter eggs ruins all the fun

Parents behaving badly at Easter egg hunt. Photo via Paul Turnbull.

Every year thousands of children gather in parks and shopping malls around the world to participate in the annual Easter egg hunt. At each of these events some children inevitably go home empty handed, but some parents are so determined to keep that from happening that they’re aggressively intervening in the hunts to secure eggs themselves. For one group of organizers in Colorado Springs the ordeal has become too much, and the hunt has been cancelled.

Last year hundreds of parents and children congregated in Bancroft Park to celebrate an annual Easter egg hunt, and while the parents lined up behind the ropes while children prepared to gather up eggs. The event was sponsored by the Old Colorado City Association, and the plastic eggs were filled with donated candies from local business owners. Unfortunately, there were a few technical difficulties. The park is a wide open area, so the eggs were simply laid out in the grass in open view, and the bullhorn brought by organizers malfunctioned, so the master of ceremonies was forced to use a hard to hear PA system.

“So everybody thinks you said ‘Go,’ and everybody goes, and it’s over in seconds,” said Mazie Bahlman, the master of ceremonies. “If one parent gets in there, the other parents say, ‘If one can get in we all can get in,’ and everybody goes.”

In the ensuing chaos the eggs were snatched up by parents and the hunt ended in seconds. Lenny Watkins, who lives only a block away from the park, brought his then 4-year-old son to the hunt in 2009 spoke about his experience.

“You have all these eggs just lying around, and parents helping out. You better believe I’m going to help my kid get one of those eggs. I promised my kid an Easter egg hunt and I’d want to give him an even edge.”