By Pat Caldwell
NYSSA — Nyssa Chamber of Commerce Director Char Rainey-McGinnis summed up her schedule last week in one sentence.
“It has been crazy,” Rainey-McGinnis said.
Rainey-McGinnis’s hectic schedule can be traced to one event: Thunderegg Days.
The annual rock hound festival kicks off Thursday in Nyssa and runs through Saturday.
While the focus – as always – is on the unique rock formations called thundereggs, Rainey-McGinnis said the festival will also showcase more than 70 vendors selling everything from food to rocks to arts and crafts.
“It is just a lot of fun,” Rainey-McGinnis said.
The best part about the festival is it is free and Rainey-McGinnis said she expects up to 3,000 people.
The festival will spread out over the Nyssa Elementary School lawn situated at 809 Bower Avenue.
Each day of the festival is packed with entertainment. From the outlaw lawn dragsters to rock tours to a car show to fund-raising dinners and music, the event will have something for everyone, Rainey-McGinnis said.
At its core, though, the festival is about thundereggs. Thundereggs are agate-filled nodules that were formed in gas pockets of lava flows that spilled over the region more than 60 million years ago.
Thundereggs captured their name from Native Americans. The Native Americans believed the strange, colorful rocks were missiles thrown by angry, fighting “thunder spirits” who lived on Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Hood.
Rock tours will be available every day beginning at 7 a.m. Interested individuals should meet at the north end of the Nyssa Elementary School to participate in the tours. The cost is $5 per carload. Nyssa resident and rock expert William Nance will lead each tour.
Thursday the rock tour will be to Jamieson area where rock hunters can find agate. Friday, the tour will go to Mitchell Butte for jaspers. Saturday, the rock tour will head to Succor Creek State Park in search of Thundereggs.
Saturday, the Nyssa Senior Center will offer a breakfast between 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. The price for the breakfast is $5 for adults, $3 for children 10 and under.
Have a news tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected] or (541) 473-3377