Thousands of children raced after 16,000 shiny plastic eggs scattered across Belmont Lake State Park on Saturday afternoon.
About 6,000 people descended on the park for the 24th annual Spring Egg Hunt, which included a petting zoo and a visit from the “Spring Bunny,” recreation supervisor Jessica Anderson-Ruiz said.
“The weather’s beautiful and it brought in a great crowd today,” Anderson-Ruiz said. “We love being able to do this for the kids every year.”
Families crowded around food trucks stationed throughout the park. Children took short pony rides beside the lake, and nearby they petted chickens, bunnies, goats and sheep, brought to the park by Rocking Horse Farms in Central Islip.
The Spring Bunny — seated behind a white picket fence and in front of a backdrop portraying a spring meadow — posed for pictures with hundreds of kids.
Tina Parisi of Bay Shore snapped one of her daughter, Gabriella, 2, who wore a puffy pink jacket and a pair of rabbit ears, as the toddler sat smiling with the bunny.
“It’s a good event,” Parisi said. “We’ve had a great time so far.”
Children waited in long lines for their turn to hunt for the plastic eggs, which were stuffed with candy and sprinkled throughout three fenced enclosures. Groups of about a dozen, separated into age groups, ran after the colorful eggs in turns.
Dressed in matching blue jackets and wearing hot pink bows in their hair, twins Elivia and Vienna Choong, 6, ran wildly throughout the enclosure to capture the prizes.
“The lines are too long for everything, but they’re having so much fun,” said the twins’ mother, Christi Choong of Bayside, Queens. “It makes it all worth it.”
Jack Murphy, 5, was seated on his father’s shoulders, swinging a small basket and waiting eagerly for his turn. When they reached the front of the line, Jack and his brother, Max, 2, ran into the pen and scooped up three eggs apiece.
Max emptied his basket in front of his father and held up a blue egg.
“What do you got there bub?” Brian Murphy of Massapequa Park said to his son, before cracking open the egg and revealing a Tootsie Roll pop and Jolly Rancher.
“My kids are having fun, so it’s a good time,” Murphy said.