Friday's Easter Egg Drop chaotic for some parents - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/11/09

Friday's Easter Egg Drop chaotic for some parents

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Saturday, organizers from the Experience Life Church apologized for what has been labeled an "egg scramble."

Friday's Easter egg drop at Lowrey field left some parents panicked when they could not find their child among more than 12,000 other children.  As helicopters dropped thousands of plastic eggs on a sea of children, some parents began to worry how they would locate their child after the event.

Saturday NewsChannel 11 had mixed reactions from parents and organizers of Friday's egg drop.

"Being able to see, you know, parents and grandparents and other members of the family absolutely hysterical because it's just a panicky feeling when you lose a child," said Rena Smith, a grandmother.

Smith said Friday night's Easter egg drop became unexpectedly chaotic when she was unable to find her grandson.

"I would not make plans to go back, nor would my grandchildren and my son-and-law and daughter.  We're not going again," Smith said.

Maria Marlin said the chaos only temporarily affected her family.

"We did have one moment where we were a little panicked because my 6-year-old and 8-year-old got split up out there on the field," she said.

Before the hunt, Marlin made a plan with her two daughters to meet her at a specific location after the hunt, and despite the chaos she said her family enjoyed the event.

"We would go back. There were plenty of other things to do. There's the bouncy houses, and the food, and bands and everything," Marlin said.

Justin Atkins, the executive pastor at Experience Life, said the number of children that came to this year's egg drop, more than doubled since last year.

"We tried to take several precautions to avoid those situations. But like I said, we far exceeded our expectations on the number of people, and we hate to turn away folks. But we did learn some valuable lessons," Atkins said.

Atkins said the event was coordinated with the best of intentions and hoped families would come back next year.

"Any families that were stressed or strained, we apologize. But at the same time, we hope that they come back," Atkins said. 

Justin Atkins said he and other organizers of the Easter egg drop had already begun to talk to local law enforcement to bring in more help for any future events.

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