On Aug. 13, 1921, the residents of Winlock celebrated the completion of a road between Winlock and Cowlitz Corner. And because of Winlock’s thriving poultry and egg industry, they called the celebration Winlock Poultry and Egg Day, and decided it was something they wanted to hold every year.
And — with a few exceptions —Winlock has had an Egg Days celebration every year since.
There is some local contention over whether this year’s celebration truly marks the 100th anniversary of Egg Days.
Some insist that the first official Winlock’s Egg Days didn’t occur until 1936 — which would make this year the event’s 85th anniversary — but Egg Days Committee Secretary Misti Mayo said the committee is counting from that first Winlock Poultry and Egg Day in 1921.
This year’s festivities begin on Friday, June 18, with the Friends of Winlock Library Book Sale in the morning and the Egg Day Royal Coronation at 7 p.m. in the Winlock Community Building.
Registration for The Egg Day Scramble starts at 7 a.m. on June 19 at Winlock Miller Elementary, with the walk/run beginning at 8 a.m.
Registration for the Winlock Custom Car Show starts at 8 a.m. on downtown Front Street. Music and egg-themed food will be available throughout town all day — and as usual, Rowdy Rooster Bistro will hand out free egg salad sandwiches after the parade.
The 100th anniversary parade, which begins at 11 a.m. on June 19, will honor late Winlock historian Roy Richards as its grand marshal.
“His spirit will be our grand marshal,” said Egg Days Committee Chairman Dean Hendrickson. “It’s the least we can do.”
Richards owned and operated the Renegade Rooster Winlock History Collection and spent decades collecting pieces of the town’s history. He also owned a location in downtown Winlock, referred to by locals as “Roy’s Place,” which housed more Winlock artifacts and a stage where he would play music. He died in October.
“We will honor Roy and all he’s done for the history of Winlock,” Hendrickson said.
Hendrickson has been volunteering with the Egg Days committee ever since he joined the American Legion in 1954, and he’s been the committee’s chairman since 1999.
“It feels good that I’ve been with it this long,” said Hendrickson.
“When the crowd says ‘good parade, good parade,’ that makes me feel good … and when other people appreciate what you do, it makes you feel good,” he said.
At 89 years old, Hendrickson keeps busy volunteering with multiple veterans organizations, the local Lions Club, and of course, with Egg Days.
“I can’t keep from it,” he said. “I enjoy what I do and I’ll enjoy every day of my life.”
Roughly 20 volunteers are helping the committee prepare for Egg Days this year.
“It really is a true community event,” said Mayo, “it takes the community to make all the stuff happen.”
A full schedule of events is available online at www.winlockeggdays.com. Updates will be posted to the festival’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/winlockeggdays.
The last festival planning meeting will be held at 7 p.m. June 17 in the Winlock Methodist Church. Anyone with questions about the event or volunteer opportunities is encouraged to email email@example.com.