2021 A to Z: Letter S…Weird Holidays

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2021 A to Z: Letter S

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Sidewalk Egg Frying Day (July 4)

Sidewalk Egg Frying Day - July 4 | | heraldextra.com

While you are grilling those hot dogs and hamburgers, after the kids have spent time in the pool, and you are waiting for the big fireworks display for the 4th of July, why not have some fun with the kids and celebrate Sidewalk Egg Frying Day. Yup, this is a real holiday! No Yolk.

If you travel 45 minutes southwest of Interstate 40 town of Kingman to Oatman, Arizona, whose population is 135, they have a Sidewalk Egg Frying Contest every Fourth of July since 1991, at high noon on the sidewalk of this old mining town off Route 66. Contestants have 15 minutes to cook their eggs, and they have some very odd and cool contraptions.

“Fire and electricity are banned from the contest, which attracts 200-300 to the town. Instead, entrants hone magnifying glasses, arrange aluminum foil, and focus mirrors to coax the eggs to the 158 degrees necessary to fry.”

Oatman Arizona Sidewalk Egg Frying Contest photo courtesy of Fred Eck, Oatman Chamber of Commerce

According to the Library of Congress, the high heat and low humidity of Arizona makes the situation of eggs advantageous for the participants and hence dry out faster during the process. As far as the rule is concerned, they are relatively simple. It includes two eggs for each team and a freedom to use any kind of utensil or pan, or any mechanism of his choice to support them greatly so that the eggs can be cooked with solar power in 15 minutes or less time.

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.

Tableau Public has an infographic to show which days were hot enough for sidewalk egg frying days over the last two and a half decades.

Featured image: “S is for Sheep” from Digital Synopsis, created by UK based graphic designers Liam + Jord


  1. These are the kind of things I had totally no idea they existed, and now that I know, I’m happy that I know, because it just seems very fun. When something that is not very serious turns out to become quite serious for the people involved. I really like this post, it makes me smile!


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