Youngsters race towards their prizes during the Easter Egg Hunt at the Spring River Park and Zoo, Saturday morning. (Mark Wilson Photo)
Joshua Woody collected as many eggs as his 4-year-old hands could grab, until his basket toppled over.
Luckily for him, an older boy saved his day just as other children tried to grab the colorful plastic orbs, filled with possible prizes.
“One bigger kid stood up for him and said, ‘No these are his eggs!,” said his grandmother Judy Daniel.
The mad dash for prize-filled goodies at the annual Easter Egg Hunt at the Spring River Park and Zoo Saturday began with police and fire sirens at exactly 10 a.m. and finished not more than a minute later — as usual.
City of Roswell Recreation Leader Mary Beardsley, organizer of this year’s event, estimated some 1,500 people enjoyed the hunt.
“It looks like we had a little more than last year,” Beardsley said. “The weather is nice and it’s just great out here.”
Children ages 3 to 10 years old sat on the lawn of the Peppermint Playground area, after all eggs were found, pouring out their baskets and ripping open their eggs with the hope of finding a ticket for a special prize.
The Sertoma Club of Roswell donated hundreds of dollars in prizes, including large bunny rabbits, bubbles and other Easter-related gifts.
The gates opened at 9:30 a.m. and the race started 30 minutes later, as children broke through yellow tape in a hurry.
Woody was ready to go when the sirens sounded. He is the third generation to grab eggs at the zoo. His parents Gwen and Clay Woody remember the event as children growing up in Roswell.
“We made it a tradition to come out every year,” Gwen Woody said. “It was a lot of fun. They used to give away bikes. (My husband) won a stuffed bunny.”
“It was just a fun thing for the kids,” Daniel said.
Christina Molina’s daughter was thrilled to find a prize ticket in one of her eggs.
“They did a really good job,” Molina said. “She got a prize egg!”
Marco Dominguez brought his two 3-year-old twins, Kayla and Mayleen, and his daughter Miliana, 6, out for the first time.
“They were excited,” Dominguez said. “They were so happy.”
Veronica Burrola said at first her son was a bit scared with all of the people around him. But he soon joined in the fun. He had a smile on his face as he opened up his eggs.