World's Largest Egg.
World's Largest Egg.

World's Largest Egg

Field review by the editors.

Winlock, Washington

The big egg in Winlock, south of Tacoma, is twelve feet long and weighs 1,200 pounds. It sits on a pedestal on a ten-foot steel pole in the wide, grassy median running through the center of town. On the pedestal is written, "World's Largest EGG."

Winlock was America's second largest egg producing town until the 1950s, and local egg pride remains strong. The first big egg was fashioned from canvas by town boosters in 1923, part of a celebration around the opening of the Pacific Highway. A plastic version replaced it in 1944.

Little chicken, big egg.

In the 1960s, the egg was upgraded to a fiberglass model, which lasted until the early 1990s. A local chicken hatcheryman, Vern L. Zander, funded the most recent egg before his death in 1993. Winlock holds its Egg Day festival on the third weekend in June.

In the 2000s, the Winlock Egg pushed the envelope on its egg designation with a series of bold -- some would say reckless -- modifications. After the 9/11 attacks in 2001 it was painted to appear as an ovoid American flag, with red and white bars, and stars against a field of blue.

By 2004, the Egg remained adorned with the American flag design while its back side read, in hand-painted script, "God Bless America." Visitors reported seeing it "tarted up" with a giant yellow ribbon, and an arrangement of smaller ribbons. It had become the town's 9/11 Memorial, a symbol for the thin shell of a free society and its vulnerable citizen goo, or something.

Freight train rumbles by the World's Largest Egg, 2004.
Freight train rumbles by the World's Largest Egg, 2004.

Later in the decade it reverted to its traditional blank whiteness.

The area around the Egg has been fenced off, and the town has constructed a very tiny park. Freight trains seem to roar through on the adjacent track frequently during the daytime, but the egg remains uncracked.

World's Largest Egg

Address:
First St., Winlock, WA
Directions:
Off of Hwy. 505, which becomes Walnut Street as you enter Winlock. Go across the railroad tracks and turn right on Kerron. The egg sits in a small park on the right about one block down Kerron.
Hours:
Festival - 4th weekend in June.
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