Pier Park Easter Egg Hunt Awesomely Successful

by April 13, 2009 • 12 comments

Saturday, the first annual Pier Park Easter Egg Hunt attracted hundreds of kids and parents to enjoy beautiful weather, the furry Easter Bunny and tons and tons of candy.  The first three rounds of egg hunts were for the kids and the fourth and final round was all for the parents, no kids allowed.

“There were 7,000 total filled eggs layed out today,” said Felecia Cook, Director of Marketing for Pier Park in Panama City Beach.  The hunt took place in the festivity grounds or the grassy area in between the sand volleyball court and Buffalo Wild Wings.

The first age group sent for the hunt included kids 2 to 3 years of age.  When Cook said go, it was a mini stampede across the grass in a scramble to collect as many eggs as possible. It was less of a hunt and more of a race to collect the most, but it was apparently fun for all as parents hurried to keep up with their kids.

The last round, reserved for “parents only” included candy-filled eggs mixed with prize-filled eggs from the retailers in Pier Park.  Prizes included anything from charms from Shimmering Seas to free t-shirts from various retailers to soccer balls, volleyballs, pizzas and other foods.  When Cook said go for the parent’s round, the crowd went wild, literally and scurried to their hands and knees to collect as many eggs as possible.

The weather was perfect, the turnout phenomenal and the energy high.  I talked to my buddy at the new carousel and they had droves of kids riding most of the day.

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1 Andy April 14, 2009 at 6:39 am

How hard would it have been for the Pier Park officials to rpe off an area and actually hide the eggs? I can see making it easy for the littlest ones, but for the older age group, running and grabbing for eggs was stupid. I heard another parent liken the event to “the day after Thanksgiving”.

We won’t be attending next year unless it becomes an actual Easter Egg hunt, not a scramble.


2 Maureen April 14, 2009 at 6:49 am

What a waste of a Saturday afternoon.


3 Jason Koertge April 14, 2009 at 7:04 am

I’m kind of getting tired of all the negative comments on here.

Pier Park didn’t “hide” all the eggs because from a logistical point of view it wouldn’t work very well. Where would they have hidden them? Around the mall? Yea, great idea. They wanted the kids to find lots of eggs and get lots of candy, and it worked.

I was there, my kids had fun, and all the parents that I knew there – their kids had fun too. I thought this was a great event, and I’m glad Pier Park is not only willing to put in the time, but spend the money to do stuff like this.

We can all find something to complain about, but lets try and be positive. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen the quality of comments go down the toilet on here.

I’m sorry Maureen and Andy, but if you didn’t like it, you can stay home next year, that will be more eggs for my kids.


4 andy April 14, 2009 at 8:59 am

I’m sorry you don’t like the negative comments Jason. Perhaps you should remove the comment section of the site so you won’t have to read them. Or perhaps you should create a positive only and negative only section so people can choose what they want to read.

I have lived in this area a lot longer than you and have been a full supporter of Pier Park, the airport, even the high-rise condos because I know what they mean to the future of Panama City Beach. I was simply making a comment that I didn’t think the Easter Egg Hunt was planned out all that well. I would hope my negative and others positive comments would be evaluated when it comes time to plan next years event.


5 Jason Koertge April 14, 2009 at 9:08 am

Great, Andy, do you have any productive suggestions for how to make it better? I would love to hear them.


6 JL April 14, 2009 at 10:06 am

WHOA! Dang, sounds like someone has had his feelings hurt. Jason, I have to first say that I discovered and have been reading PCBeachDaily for about 8 or 9 months and I love it. There is really no other local site like it and you do a fantastic job of covering every aspect of local life which I appreciate as a life-long Panama Citian.

However, I have to agree with Andy and say that if you want people to be involved with the site, which is ultimately what will make it grow and thrive, you must take the good with the bad as far as comments go. The other option would be to change the link to say “Leave a POSITIVE Comment”, or remove the comment section altogether.

Bashing site-users for posting their opinions surely cannot be the best way to handle the situation. Way out of line, in my opinion. Is my “opinion” wrong too?


7 Jason Koertge April 14, 2009 at 10:25 am

Why do I have to have gotten my “feelings” hurt to be getting tired of all the negativity? I’m just asking for some suggestions as to how this could be made better.

I created this site to share information, and I strongly encourage feedback and comments from everyone, but when someone comes on here and says something is waste of an afternoon or says something is “stupid”, complaining about the organizational side of an event, with no suggestions for how to make it better, it does no one any good and is counterproductive.

JL, I know you and respect you and have seen your comments on here, and I appreciate that, but so many people show up and just leave a negative comment and never participate again.


8 JL April 14, 2009 at 11:12 am

Agreed about the “drive-by” shooters….that is uncalled for. Please keep up the good work. I always look forward to my weekly newsletter to keep me up on what is going on in all segments of the community.


9 Maureen April 14, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Andy did make a suggestion. She asked “how hard would it have been to rope off an area and actually hide the eggs.” that sure sounds like a suggestion to me. And yes, it was stupid to just toss the eggs out in the grass and then say to the kids “go” because there was absolutely no thought or creativity put into this event. Where would we suggest the eggs be hidden you wonder? Why not across the way where the concert was going to be held? The ‘scramble’ didn’t last that long that the entertainment couldn’t wait to set-up. And there are some areas there that would have allowed for some hiding.
Part of the problem with much of our youth these days, is that they don’t have to work at getting anything. The little ones notwithstanding, the older kids could have used a bit of mystery added to their hunting for Easter eggs. If we always make things, worth having, easy to get, then they become complacent and begin to expect all things in life to be easy and without effort on their part. Yes, I am aware that I am talking about an Easter egg hunt, but we have to start somewhere. Life is not always fair and children as young as 7 should begin to learn that everyone will not come out with an equal number of anything; it’s the trying that matters here and the effort one puts forth that wins the satisfaction of a job well done.
And Jason, I am sorry you are tired of all the negative comments. Again, if it were always easy, even for you, why bother at all?


10 Susan April 14, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Jason… I have to agree with the theory in general that it seems you lost your otherwise usually impeccable tone. I agee that the IQ of the negative comments has lowered lately making even those ‘good’ negtaive points hard to accept but your response was the first time in … ever…. that I can remember feeling that you went a little to far over to the dark side! Hey… even you can have a comment get on the wrong side right?
On the subject of this post… I agree and disagree… Pier Park is doing an awesome job at planning community building events and it is impossible to please everyone! I personally did not attend the egg hunt because on the advice of other mothers that have attended Frank Brown in the past the opinion that the Pier Park one would be just as crazy was unanimous and we all opted for something smaller and more controlled. Perhaps next year they should do it at the ampitheater with more space and zones by ages. That is my suggestion for what it is worth.
Thanks for what you do Jason… we do appreciate it… and please… I count on your rational and easy responses… try deep breaths before you hit submit : )


11 Neil April 14, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Right-on Jason, positive thoughts & attitude are an integral part of positive change


12 Christina April 15, 2009 at 11:00 am


Why didn’t you cover the Celebration of Life festival that was going on at the Pier Park Amphitheater? That festival was awesome and FREE! I was there all day and night. I would say there were about 2,000 people throughout the day and evening. Lecrae and all of the other artists were awesome! You should have seen the number of teenagers there…all very well behaved…shoulda been there!