Hundreds of kids overtook the Alerus Center's football field Saturday for the 17th Annual Scheels Easter Egg Scramble.

In a matter of minutes, participants picked up thousands of eggs scattered across the field.

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"See how well they can clean things up when they really want to?" joked emcee Brian Michaels, program director for 104.3 Cities FM.

Inside the eggs, children found candy and other prizes. Some even found tickets they could exchange for larger prizes in the lobby of the Alerus. The larger prizes included kites, coloring books and a range of other toys. The older set had a chance to win bigger prizes like scooters.

The event featured three separate egg hunts: the first was for children ages 2 to 3; the second for kids 4 to 5; and the final round for children ages 6 to 8. The hunts were free and open to the public.

Since participants didn't need to register, organizers were unsure about the exact attendance at the event. Earlier this week, a Scheels store leader told the Herald organizers were expecting about 4,000 people to attend.

There were 15,000 eggs in total, said Anna Rosburg, general manager of the Alerus.

"It was awesome. It was definitely an experience," said Dolly Boushey, who brought three-year-old Simon Marshal to the event. "I'm like, 'Get out there, but don't knock anyone over!'"

Simon won a kite and some candy.

In addition to the egg hunt, children could head to the Alerus Center's second level for yard games, coloring activities and an inflatable bounce house.

The egg hunt necessitated a quick turn-around at the football field, which had been converted to a softball venue for a UND women's softball game Friday evening. The team returns for another game 7 p.m. Saturday.