Whether you’re a direct descendant of someone from Peters Hollow or just a visitor, everyone is treated like family during the annual Peters Hollow Egg Fight on Easter.
Sitting in circles of lawn chairs in Norman Peters’ backyard Sunday, competitors forged on with the 189-year-old tradition, vying to win the coveted egg fighter’s titles and trophies.
“This all started with the farmers of Rome Hollow challenging the farmers of Peters Hollow to see whose chickens laid the hardest eggs,” Norman said.
Starting with a certain amount of eggs, competitors go around and tap the ends of their hardboiled eggs on someone else’s, trying to crack their opponents shell. The egg shells that don’t crack move on throughout the competition until it dwindles down to one winner, Peters said.
Back in the day he said egg fights used to go on long into the night, but the competition has in later days set some limitations.
“Over the past 30 years we’ve limited the eggs so we can have it over before it gets too dark,” Peters said.
For the infant to 3-year-old and four- to six-year-old divisions, competitors are allowed a dozen eggs, and the 7- to 12-year-old group get two dozen. The adult division made up of competitors 13 and up are allowed to fight six dozen eggs.
While only 8 years old, Carson Peters earned a third year of egg fighting bragging rights.
“I just won the 7 to 12 age group egg fight,” Carson said.
Dying his eggs blue and green, he said his winning eggs came from a chicken farm near his home, as well as a local grocery store.
For this year’s event, the Peters family decided to document the egg fight with a family picture.
“All of our descendants for the first time in many, many, many years are going to get together and we are having our family portrait made,” said Jennifer Sims, descendant of the Peters family.
The photo was the second generational family picture taken in 50 years, so the group shot was extra special because Rheba Vines and Emma Hurley, the sisters of the original egg fighters John W. and Vina Peters, were present to take another portrait.
“They were in the first picture and they will be in the second picture,” Sims said.
The picture was taken at the family’s old rock house that was built back in 1931.
Judy Williams, resident of Peters Hollow and sister-in-law to Buford Peters, Norman’s brother, took pictures and toted a sign that read, “Hi Katie. Wish you were here!” for her daughter currently working as principal at an English-speaking school in Thailand.
“All of her friends and neighbors have been holding up this sign and I’ve been snapping pictures all afternoon so she can know that we miss her and hope next year she’ll be back in the states,” Williams said.
While this year’s gathering had many different components, the egg fight was still the main event.
Joining Carson, other winners of Sunday’s egg fight were Katie Wilson in the infant to 3-year-old division, Ryan Sexton in the 4- to 6-year-old division and Wendy Honeycutt for the adult division, Peters said.
Runners-up were Ashton Collins, Seth Henry, Elizabeth Ann Maupin and Gabriel Maupin.
Win or lose, this family get-together remains a must-see for many in the area.
“It’s just part of the culture. It’s different in different parts of the world and we’re proud that we fight eggs,” Williams said. “Nowhere else on Earth do we do it like we do in Peters Hollow.”