On Saturday, April 8, 2017 I showed up for an Easter egg hunt at West Windsor Community Park with my five-year-old son, and a Black Friday sale broke out, or so it seemed.

The sights and sounds of this so called “hunt” were reminiscent of hundreds of videos uploaded on YouTube exposing the horrors of a Black Friday sale, where scores of shoppers literally get trampled by other shoppers for the opportunity to purchase a ridiculously discounted 80-inch flat screen television or the newest near impossible to find gadget. The West Windsor Easter egg hunt was a Twilight Zone episode on steroids that Rod Serling himself would have been truly embarrassed and ashamed to have written.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I observed some adults, children in tow, pushing and shoving trying to acquire as many Easter eggs for their little ones as humanly possible. This intense focus by some parents to snatch up eggs from their “competition” clearly clouded their own judgement and undoubtedly made the experience for some children both frightening and overwhelming.

I may be naïve, but I’ve never witnessed this type of behavior from grown adults in my entire life. Note to parents: there are no winners or losers in an Easter egg hunt.

What many parents failed to recognize was that the rectangular portion of grass, roped off and designated for pre-K kids only, wouldn’t allow for them to be participants in this event. The area was just too small to accommodate both parents and children.

Unfortunately, some parents felt it necessary to participate rather than observe. I can still remember as a young child growing up in West Windsor and taking part in several Easter egg hunts, parents were glad to give up some of their parental control and allow their kids to enjoy a little bit of independence at an early age. Times sure have changed.

Maybe next year they need to cordon off a section of the park for a parents only Easter egg hunt where they can vie for the most captured Easter eggs and the winner is proclaimed to be king or queen of the 2018 West Windsor Easter egg hunt.

— Mike Damone, West Windsor