ORANGE, Conn. -- It's all fun and games until the parents get involved. PEZ Candy had to abruptly cancel its third annual Easter egg hunt Saturday after parents stormed the field in Connecticut, according to a company news release.
Kids as young as four were pushed and shoved aside by parents going after the 9,000 eggs hidden across three fields, according to FOX61.
Pez General Manager Shawn Peterson told CBS affiliate WFSB that parents rushed in "like locusts."
The egg hunts were supposed to be three events, broken up by age groups, and were to be followed by a visit from the Easter bunny.
But impatient parents showed their worst behavior and began entering fields before PEZ started the events.
"When it came time, at like 10:30 a.m., the parents just bum-rushed that area," West Haven resident Nicole Welch told WFSB. "When my son left, he had a broken basket, and he was hysterically crying."
PEZ staff did what they could to compensate, but the entire event had to be stopped.
Disgruntled parents didn't waste any time heading to the PEZ Candy Facebook page to complain.
"This event was a joke to put it mildly," said Susan Kristie Nadori DeRose. "We have a 3-year-old. The parents, first of all, were letting their uncontrolled children pick up eggs prior to the start. Then when the event started all the parents rushed in and we're picking up the eggs."
Parents reacted by posting on the Pez Facebook page after the event.
Pez released the following statement:
“Unfortunately people chose to enter the first field prior to anyone from PEZ staff starting the activity. The crowd moved to the second field, waited for only a couple of minutes and proceeded to rush the field without being directed to do so and before the posted start time.
The general manager and other staff Visitor Center staff members were on hand trying to talk with as many people as we possibly could, letting them know if someone didn’t get an egg or candy, we had plenty of candy at the front entry for them. We sincerely tried our best to create a fun, free activity for everyone to enjoy.
We made efforts to get everyone something before they left and passed out tons of candy and coupons and the front entry and tried to make the best of an unfortunate situation. Due to the actions of a few, the good intent quickly turned into a mess. I would like to sincerely apologize to each of our guests, this was not something created to frustrate or make people angry. We only wanted to do good for the local community."
Somehow, no injuries were reported.