At most any barber shop on a hot day you might hear the invocation “Hot enough to fry an egg”.
In Oatman, Arizona on July Fourth they not only talk about it, but they walk the talk – or fry the eggs.
In an unusual Fourth of July celebration, residents of Oatman, where temperatures routinely exceed 100 degrees, will compete to see who can cook the most edible-looking egg.
At noon, crowds line the streets and the eggs are simultaneously cracked. The participants start to cook the eggs, using any solar means they choose, whether straight on the cement, or in a fry pan on the ground.
Entrants are banned from using fire and electricity to help cook their egg. But they can help the cooking process along with magnifying glasses, aluminum foil, and mirrors.
The eggs need to get to 158 degrees to fry and, despite the phrase, sidewalks are poor conductors of heat, rarely topping 145 degrees even in extreme conditions.
The event, which attracts 200-300 to the town, which has just 35 shops and a couple of bars and restaurants, began in 1991 during a heatwave and made headlines.Some thouight it was bad to draw attention to the stifling heat, but others disagreed. As one said, “It’s who we are. We’re in a desert!”