Kids snap up prizes like vacuums at Easter egg hunt

Mar. 30, 2013 @ 07:42 PM

Hundreds of kids scrambled for eggs Saturday at a hunt that involved the Easter bunny taking some punches in a boxing ring.

The “bunny” – in the form of a human – was reported in excellent condition after children in the inflatable ring tried to show him who was boss. No blood was shed.

An estimated 12,000 plastic eggs were scattered across the grounds at Durham Central Park downtown, but it didn’t take long for them to be snapped up by children ranging in age from 1 to 12.

The competition was fierce at times, and those who hesitated or were in the wrong place lost out, temporarily.

“The kids in the front of the line did great, but those further behind didn’t get any eggs because the first ones sucked them up like a vacuum,” said Christine Pearce, who brought her five children. “But we’ll try again in the second round.”

The hunt was divided into age groups, and hunts were held every 30 minutes for about two hours.

David Alvarez said he liked Saturday’s event more than last year’s.

“I felt like parents did a good job of not getting involved [in the hunt],” he said. “Last time, it was a mess – all the parents got involved and kids were getting shoved by parents. It was not pretty.”

Alvarez brought his 8-year-old daughter, Emma, whose three eggs included a bracelet and candy inside.

Jared Barrozt came with his wife and four children.

“It was fun,” his 8-year-old daughter, Elise, said after scoring a dozen eggs.

His son, 6-year-old Packer, let his grin do the talking as he twisted opened an egg and saw a Tootsie roll inside.

Across the street, older youngsters waited for the countdown, then kicked up their heels, grabbing hundreds of eggs in seconds.

Twelve-year-old Andrew Steiner was happy with his 13 eggs, but thought he might have done better with a different strategy.

“I probably could have chosen a different route,” he said. “I went to the top of the hill and worked my way down, but I could have tried a zigzag pattern. But it was fun. I can’t wait until next year.”

His sister, 10-year-old Lauren, said the hunt “went too fast. It took, like, less than a minute, and then they were gone.”

But she was satisfied with her 10 eggs, most of which contained candy.

Saturday’s hunt was sponsored by the YMCA and Vintage Church in Durham.

Todd Perkins, the church’s lead pastor, said he appreciated the efforts of other groups to make the event a success. He said he hoped the central message of Easter would be remembered.

“If people want to hunt eggs, we’ll do that to celebrate,” he said. “We think that Easter – being the resurrection of Jesus – is worth celebrating. We want people to hear the story of Jesus, and remember what this holiday is about.”