Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Marcel Brown, 11, of Lawrenceville tosses a plastic egg he collected during the second annual Under Water Egg Hunt at the Bethesda Park Aquatic Center in Lawrenceville on Saturday.
LAWRENCEVILLE -- Apparently the Easter bunny can swim, too.
Hundreds of kids gathered in their bathing suits Saturday morning at the Bethesda Park Aquatic Center, squeezing onto the blue tile surrounding the indoor pool and jockeying for the best position. Their targets -- tons of brightly colored, plastic eggs -- rested on the pool floor.
Once the whistle sounded, a unique (and wet, and very loud) twist on the traditional Easter egg hunt was under way.
Walker Hollowell, an 8-year-old from Lilburn, offered this enthusiastic assessment: "It's freakin' awesome."
Families were lined up outside the aquatic center off Bethesda Church Road in Lawrenceville well before Saturday's 11 a.m. scheduled start. So many showed up that it was nearly noon when the hunting actually began.
With more than a dozen lifeguards patrolling the pool (and doing more than their fair share of whistling), goggled boys and girls scoured the pool floor, the playgrounds and the "lazy river" for eggs.
"It's chaos," Debbie Prussing, Walker's grandmother, said with a laugh. "I thought the idea was great. I think it was a lot of fun."
As egg quantities began to wane, lifeguards and other pool staff began sprinkling more on top of the water. Once hunters gathered their allotted five (empty) eggs, they waited in line to trade them in for goodie bags.
After they were done swimming, kids had photos with the Easter bunny, sack races and inflatables to entertain themselves.
With no wicker baskets, no pastel-colored collared shirts and no grass stains, it was far from traditional. But ask Alana Lindsay, a 6-year-old from Snellville, and that's quite alright.
"It was way better (than a normal egg hunt)," she said, "because it had something extra to it -- swimmin.'"