If you think the annual American orgy of materialistic excess known as “Black Friday” is bad, this story out of Connecticut has it beat. This time we’re not talking about people going nuts trying to get the last bargain-priced TV or the hot new toy. No, this time the latest example of “adults behaving badly” occurred at a kids’ Easter egg hunt.
The PEZ Candy Company, based in Orange, Connecticut, has hosted an Easter egg hunt for children for the past three years. According to the company, the popularity of the free event has grown each year, and this year’s hunt, held on Saturday morning, drew a huge crowd.
PEZ employees hid over 9,000 eggs on three fields. The plan was to have staggered starting times for the children, with the youngest going first. But some parents weren’t interested in following the rules, and in the spirit of Ayn Rand, decided that selfishness should rule the day. Witnesses say that parents rushed the fields, and bedlam ensued.
Shawn Peterson, general manager of the PEZ visitor center, said that in past years the one employee who was stationed at each field was enough. But this year parents went into fields that were marked “kids only” and moved from field to field ahead of the designated start time. One person per field, trying to keep order, wasn’t nearly enough.
According to NBC Connecticut, Nicole Welch said when she found her 4-year-old son, he was crying hysterically. Her son Vincent told the reporter,
Somebody pushed me over and take my eggs and it’s very rude of them and they broke my bucket.
PEZ staff members were overwhelmed by the number of people who turned out. Reports put that number at somewhere around 1,000. While some parents blamed PEZ for the chaos, many who commented were supportive of the company and its efforts to create a fun day for everyone.
According to Peterson, PEZ does not advertise the event in order to keep the number of participants low. When they realized that they were going to have a very large crowd this year, Peterson said that parents were informed that free candy would be handed out inside the visitor center. But promises that nobody would go home empty-handed had no calming effect on most of the adults, who seemed intent on recreating a scene reminiscent of “The Hunger Games.”
This may be the world’s first example of a libertarian Easter egg hunt. Ayn Rand would be proud.
Here’s a report, from WFSB:
Featured image via Nicole Welch/WFSB