Oatman Egg Fry featured hard
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Oatman Egg Fry featured hard

May 13, 2024


OATMAN — Fifteen teams brought their yolks and dreams to downtown Oatman Tuesday for the 33rd annual Fourth of July Oatman Sidewalk Egg Fry.

Benji Briggs, 10, flipped expectations as the best egg fryer this year, carrying on the family tradition of cooking in a foiled-lined cardboard box with a clear cover.

"We're back," said Bryce Briggs, Benji's father. "We won first place five years ago, and we decided to try again. We brought the same set up that we won with last time."

The rules of the Egg Fry, hosted by the Oatman Chamber of Commerce, are simple; the only fuel source allowed to fry the eggs is the sun, but creativity in a solar egg-cooking device is encouraged. The best cooked egg at the end of 15 minutes wins.

Mark Brewer of Bullhead City took home the Showmanship prize with his creative solar tower of multiple magnifying glasses suspended over a glass-topped mini-cast iron pan.

Mark Brewer, of Bullhead City, took home the Showmanship prize with his "EW1042 Super Dooper Deluxe Egg Fryinator, Second Anniversary Edition" in Tuesday's 33rd annual Fourth of July Oatman Sidewalk Egg Fry.

"It's the EW1042 Super Duper Deluxe Egg Fryinator, Second Anniversary Edition," he said. "It's the second time I've participated."

Second place was awarded to Crystal Jackson, whose family has been in attendance for 20 years.

"It's a family tradition for us," she said. "We started coming when my daughter was 10. Now we're bringing our grandchildren. We love getting them out and having them enjoy the community."

The competition attracted several hundred onlookers, who cheered on the competitors and celebrated with the winners.

"It was a great competition, a great turn out and we saw some temperatures we've not seen before," said Bobby Mursick, owner of Desert Dig-Ins and Oatman Chamber of Commerce member.

Returning champion Andy DeLeon of Downey, California brought his winning solar cooking contraption of pvc pipe and a page sized print magnifier back to Tuesday's 33rd annual Fourth of July Oatman Sidewalk Egg Fry. This year his egg cooker Roger Nagel, 7, took home third place in the competition.

Pre-cook pan temperatures reached more than 275 degrees Tuesday for the annual Fourth of July Oatman Sidewalk Egg Fry. The high temp made returning champion Andy DeLeon's solar egg cooker a hot favorite to win, but in the end the egg cooked under the pvc and page sized print magnifier came in third place.

Returning champion Andy DeLeon of Downey, California came in the hot favorite: Four minutes before the competition began, the temperature test of his PVC pipe and page-sized print magnifier showed the cast-iron egg pan at 305 degrees. In the end, his cooker, Roger Nagel, 7, came in third place.

"It is so much fun," DeLeon said. "Oatman is great and spending the Fourth with family, in the heat and at the water — it's just the best."

The Simons family, who have been attending for more than 21 years, included Pam and her grandchildren Marilyn, Ignatius, 6, and this year's fryer, Aurora, 4. Pam and Aurora each took home a prize for being the oldest and the youngest participants.

"We wanted to give Aurora the opportunity to be the fryer this time," Pam Simons said. "It was great and I got a lot of ideas for next year."

Since 1990, the competition has been featured in national and international media outlets ranging from CNN Canada to NPR and The Weather Channel, drawing thousands of tourists to the historic mining town. This year, independent film makers Lauren Teebor, Jake Wolfert, Philip Stilwell and Jakob Longcob, from Los Angeles were on hand to memorialize the fun.

"I read about it and we just had to come film it," Teebor said. "It's great."


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