TIFTON -- What do you get when you mix about 700 kids from toddler to age 12 with nearly 10,000 eggs?

About 15 to 20 minutes of chaos and a lot of smiling faces.

That should be the result this Saturday afternoon with the Sixth Annual "Scramble for Eggs Easter Egg Hunt." The event will be held at 12:30 p.m. at Friendly City Park at the E.B. Hamilton Softball Complex.

The event is put on by the Tift County Recreation Department and The Tifton Gazette as well as dozens of sponsors who donate prizes.

"It's built up over the last several years to be an action-packed day," Recreation Director Craig Sowell said. "When we string those kids around all of the lines and tell them to go, they look like fireants attacking a piece of meat. It's fast and furious but everybody behaves themselves."

Lucinda Cayton, the program coordinator for the Recreation Department, said that parents need to park at the pavillion or in the parking lot as the rest of the area will be roped off for the event.

Age groups are toddler-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12. The youngest group will have their hunt on one of the ballfields while the other three groups will be in the park area.

"Parents can go with the kids in the tot lot," Sowell said. "Everybody else will be by themselves."

Some of the plastic eggs will contain prizes such as coupons, candy or toys. Sowell said the event continues to grow and he can remember when it first began with a couple of thousand eggs that were actually boiled.

"We had to change that when we got so many," Sowell said.

Before the egg hunt, a bike rodeo will be held at the complex. Children are asked to bring their own bikes and helmets and they will receive points on bicycling skills and how they ride their bike. Cayton said the recreation department puts on the event along with the Optimist Club, which will be giving away a bicycle on Saturday. Registration for the bike rodeo begins at 10 a.m.

"We try to tie the two together so families can spend a lot of time together out here during the day," Sowell said. "It's another way to have a family-oriented activity. Easter is a significant holiday that we like to celebrate. Our sponsors are very generous and the community has always responded well."

To contact managing editor Chris Beckham, call 382-4321, ext. 203.

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