Tradition is part of what makes the Dysart’s Snowmobile Egg Ride and Ride-In for Pine Tree Camp so special.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the event that raises money for the Pine Tree Society’s Pine Tree Camp, which every year provides outdoor experiences for hundreds of Maine children and adults with disabilities.
This year, there is a bit of a bright and sticky wrinkle to the format for the Dysart’s Ride-In, which is scheduled for Feb. 4, in Hermon.
Traditionally, celebrity riders have solicited pledges for which they placed raw eggs inside their snowmobile suits for the ride. It provided a bit of trepidation and discomfort for participants, but supporters were treated to the sight of those folks getting covered in broken eggs.
However, the onset of avian flu has caused egg prices to skyrocket amid reduced availability, forcing organizers to find an alternative for this year’s event. It’s the latest example of the effects of rising egg costs, including higher prices at grocery stores and restaurants that are altering their menus to use fewer eggs.
“In the past we had expired eggs that were donated directly to us, and then would give them to our riders,” said Adria King, donor and alumni relations manager for the Pine Tree Society. “This year was rough because none of the farms have any expired eggs to donate.”
This year, riders will instead be filling their suits with Jell-O eggs.
King likened the change to “a Color Run with Jell-O instead of paint.”
“There’s a first for everything, and, as the Egg Ride tradition continues, one thing is certain: it will be a gooey Jell-O filled ride of a lifetime for our celebrities,” King said.
Each “egg” represents a $50 pledge in support of Pine Tree Camp and its mission to serve Maine people with disabilities. One hundred percent of proceeds from the Dysart’s Ride-in support the camp, which was established in 1945.
Campers participate in outdoor activities like kayaking, boating, swimming, fishing, hiking, biking, archery, snowshoeing and ice fishing at Pine Tree Camp’s 285-acre campus on North Pond in Rome.
If there is no snow, the Egg Riders will parade on ATVs rather than snowmobiles.
There will be numerous Maine celebrities among the Q106.5 Egg Riders at the Dysart’s ride-in. This year, the cast includes Ryan Eldridge and Jared “Jedi” Baker of “Maine Cabin Masters,” “Survivor” Season 17 winner Bob Crowley, Ski-Doo ambassador John Gibbs and “The Nite Show” co-hosts Dan Cashman and Christie Robinson.
The list also will feature former TV personality Bill Green, now executive director of the Maine Sports Hall of Fame, along with Game Warden Kris MacCabe, Maine Snowmobile Association President Al Swett, Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Deb Neuman and “Q106.5 Morning Show” co-hosts Scott Miller and Cindy Campbell.
Also scheduled to appear are SledTrx founder Jake Warn, Pine Tree Camp Director Dawn Willard-Robinson, social media personalities Meredith Steele, Ethan Levesque and Tatum Talks, and Tim and Jordan Dysart.
The Ride-in is set to run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 4, with a parade leaving Dysart’s at 10 a.m. and returning at 12:45 p.m. The Jell-O eggs will be placed in the riders’ suits during the third stop of the event, 12:15 p.m. at the Penobscot Snowmobile Club.
Other events scheduled as part of the Dysart’s Ride-In weekend include a spaghetti dinner and live WABI-TV 5 telethon on Feb. 2, a live auction at the Carmel Snowmobile Club on Feb. 3, a radar run at Penobscot Snowmobile Club in Hermon and local Poker Runs on Feb. 4.
For more information on the schedule of events, visit pinetreesociety.org/events/snowmobile-ride-in.