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Grangeville, Idaho's Fourth of July Shell Game


Of the scores of Fourth of July celebrations across the Gem State this weekend, perhaps the most unique is in the Idaho County town of Grangeville in north-central Idaho.

Each year, Grangeville hosts its Border Days celebration over the Fourth of July holiday, with a parade, rodeo, art show, classic car show and the "chicken scramble," in which both chickens and kids are set loose. 

Each chicken is fitted with a ribbon representing a different amount of money, and the kid who catches the chicken wins the money.

One of the highlights of the celebration has to be what organizer's call the "super" egg toss. It' s so super that more than 1,100 people participated in this year's event, which filled the streets of downtown Grangeville on Saturday.

This isn't a run-of-the-mill egg toss. Creativity counts. The Lewiston Tribune's Chelsea Embree reports the style of egg tossing increased "exponentially" as the competition progressed. This year, one left-handed, around the back toss looked like a sure winner but ended up in "a messy splat." The big winners of the 2016 toss were a father and son duo from Seattle who were able to toss an egg over a multi-story-high wire of American flags strung over the street. 

No first-time spectators are allowed—every egg toss newbie is required to take part in the mayhem. Meanwhile, some veteran participants say they buy cartons of eggs ahead of time in order to practice.
This year marks the 105th anniversary of Grangeville's Border Days.