199th year of the Peters Hollow Egg Fight scheduled for Easter Sunday – www.elizabethton.com
Norman Peters Says “Let’s Fight the Eggs”
BY CY Peters
Easter Sunday is approaching, we will fight the eggs a little after noon. For nearly 200 years, people from as far away as Washington State have traveled to Peters Hollow for the annual Stoney Creek Egg Battle. Norman Peters, who has been the host for 30 years, says he looks forward to Easter Sunday. In the past 50 years, Peters was aiming for his second victory. His first came in 1970 after beating two-time champion Ruth Jones. Jones became the first woman to win the Egg Battle in 1968. The old saying goes that the Egg Battle dates back to 1823 when a few men started arguing over which hen laid the hardest eggs. A fight broke out and the feud continues. In the early years, there was no limit to the dozen eggs you could bring. I saw pick-up platforms loaded with dozens of eggs. The fight would continue late into Sunday night. Then in the late 60s or early 70s a 12 dozen limit was passed and now the maximum is six dozen for the adult division.
Charles White would have all his children together on Saturdays. He had a large cast iron pot that could hold about 15 dozen eggs to boil at a time. In the old days, Sunday was a day of disguise and everyone wore their best clothes to fight, the women in dresses and the men in suits. Today it’s just a casual outfit. Dale Colbaugh normally wears his UT outfit and Mike Scott still has his Virginia Tech baseball cap. Children carried their eggs into battle in a basket.
On Egg Fight Sundays, around 200-300 people typically show up with around 50-60 competitors across the four divisions. This year being an election year, there could be 500. “All the candidates run in election years,” Peters said. In the early years (60s and 70s), Jimmy Quillen and many congressmen and senators came. Now just most local activists show up. The Egg Battle has been canceled for two years. This year’s Easter is in mid-April and should be a beautiful day, so many can show up. The Easter Bunny usually comes and should be back this year. Winners date back to 1958 when Howard Peters won, and Ray Lowe in 1959.
Jerry Peters is the king of the egg fight, winning eight titles. Mike Scott is next with six wins. Hannah Colbaugh was the last person to win back-to-back, but no one has ever won three in a row in the adult division. Aubrey Collins has won back-to-back wins in the Children’s Division and will be looking for her third straight win. It goes up this year in the 7-12 bracket.
Roger Andes was the first winner in 1975 when they added a children’s division. If you weren’t a teenager, you were in the lower division. There are four divisions and all you have to do to enter is to be born. The 0-3 is the smallest division and to enter you need a dozen hard-boiled eggs. Next come children aged 4 to 6, who also use a dozen. The 7-12 age range uses two dozen eggs and the 13-100 adult division starts with six dozen eggs. The event begins around 2 p.m. just after Norman has finished his Sunday lunch.
This will be the first year in 80 years that Clifford Peters has not attended. Peters died in 2020 but attended the Egg Battle for 79 years straight. Her parents, Buster and Maggie, hosted the Egg Battle for many years.
Easter is a special time in Peters Hollow. It’s a bit like Christmas for some and family reunions. Kinfolk comes for the event and all the news networks meet at Stoney Creek. Greg Fisher said: “It’s better than Christmas. We come more at Easter to see our friends. Greg lives in Washington D.C.
Country music superstar Carson Peters fights every year. He’s won a few but is still looking for his first win in the adult division. Norman says, “Come and have a wonderful Easter with us. Bring your chair. The event will begin with the smaller division around 2 p.m. and the adult division around 3 p.m.