Children collecting Easter eggs last year at the Old Colorado City Easter… (Associated Press / The Colorado…)
Parents, don't be rotten eggs: If your weekend plans include taking the kids to an Easter egg hunt, please stick to the sidelines -- lest you ruin it for everyone, including your kids.
That's the parental takeaway after the annual Easter egg hunt in the Old Colorado City shopping district in Colorado Springs, Colo., was canceled due to safety concerns. Apparently some overly aggressive parents -- or "helicopter parents," to use the trendy term -- were determined to make sure their children got plenty of Easter eggs.
The free Easter egg hunt had been held for at least 11 years, starting as a small community get-together that also helped boost the local economy. It became a quaint annual tradition for many families.
But, in recent years, the crowds began growing -- and some parents refused to abide by requests that they stick to the sidelines while their children scampered about in search of Easter eggs.
"The parents are always interested in seeing that their kids do the very best that they can; we've had complaints -- and so they just canceled it," event sponsor Mazie Baalman told The Times. "We'd hear 'My kid didn't get anything!' and there would be parents out there taking eggs."
Baalman, owner of a local Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory store, attributed some of the problems to the economy. A free Easter egg hunt is mighty attractive to families feeling financial pressures, she said.
And growing crowds require more volunteers, especially when parents insist on getting involved.
Amid such safety concerns, and a realization that the local shopping center could not afford to hire the necessary security to keep people in line, the local business owners association that hosted the event decided to call it quits, she said.
"It's sad," she added.
You might think this problem is limited to Old Colorado City. Think again.
This week, the organizers of the annual Easter egg hunt in Easthampton, Mass., briefly considered canceling next year's event due to "overzealous" parents, according to the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
That community's Easter egg hunt was held Saturday, with 18,000 plastic eggs hidden here and there on the field at a community park. But again, parents refused to stand by, instead running out onto the field to help their children scoop up eggs.
"I understand if people want to take pictures, but some people were yelling at the kids, and it's not a competition," event organizer Robin Bialecki told the Hampshire Gazette. "There are 18,000 eggs -- that's more than enough for everyone."
Overeager parents also directed older kids to begin collecting eggs in an area that was specifically set aside for children under the age of 4. "The area got kind of overrun with older kids, a few toddlers got knocked down," she added.
Bialecki told the Gazette that the Easter egg hunt will go forward next year, but steps will be taken to keep parents in line -- such as more volunteers to "hold parents back" behind a rope.