Oatman, AZ – An egg frying contest is certainly a strange way to spend this Fourth of July, but hosting one on the city’s sidewalks is even weirder, if you ask us.
Oatman is having a little bit of fun with this summer’s dismally hot temperatures by hosting a sidewalk egg frying contest, a tradition held there since 1991.
This Thursday sees a predicted high of 106, and residents of the Arizona town are encouraged to join the contest, cooking eggs on the sidewalk with any solar means available. Roughly 30 contestants are allowed to use mirrors and magnifying glasses: Anything to get the sidewalk temperature up to the required 158 degrees to fry an egg.
Some contestant really do go all-out for the contest. One year, someone showed up with a four-foot solar mirror, which ended up turning up the heat to 360-degrees, frying the egg in just two minutes.
“It looked like something out of Star Wars when the Death Star focused its beam on that planet and blew it up,” said Fred Eck, who has organized the event since the beginning.
The contest’s origins date back to 1983, when nearby Arizona and Nevada communities hosted the cook-off among themselves. Later, Eck moved it to Oatman.
“People thought it was bad publicity for the area because it drew attention to the heat,” said Eck. “No it isn’t, it’s who we are. We’re in a desert!”
Eck says that the event attracts tourists from all over the country.
“The place is only a quarter mile long. There’s 35 shops, a couple of bars, a few restaurants,” said Eck of Oatman. “It needs all the publicity it can get to stay alive.”
What do you think of the sidewalk egg frying contest in Oatman, Arizona?
[Image via: Suti Gallery / Shutterstock]