Wilkeson skaters will soon be catching killer air off a strip of bacon
It will be the world’s largest fried eggs, bacon and spatula — all inside a 40-foot wide frying pan.
Non-stick, of course.
The gargantuan breakfast is the dream of a small town man who wants to build his combo art project and skate board park alongside state Route 165 in Wilkeson.
You might think John Hillding’s eggs have already been scrambled. But he’s raised $10,000 of the estimated $30,000 he needs to bring it to life.
The gigantic breakfast and huge cooking implements will be additions to the town’s existing skate park.
Hillding envisions skateboarders dropping off the pan’s metal edges, catching air off the egg yolks and rolling along the undulating bacon.
The pan’s handle and the spatula will serve as ramps.
Hillding, 73, spent 25 years as an art professor in Seattle, served on the Wilkeson Town Council and was an original organizer of Bumbershoot, the annual Seattle arts festival.
He’s known for large inflatable pop art.
“I called it disposable art,” he said.
Now, he’s venturing into concrete. And breakfast foods.
“I see it as my legacy,” he said.
The Wilkeson skate park near Albert Street is going on its second summer in the city.
Hillding’s son, Emil, is a long-time skate boarder and some of the construction crew from the Seattle-based skateboard park company Grindline Skateparks stayed at Hillding’s home.
When Hillding saw the park’s pump bump — a section of wavy track — he had a vision.
“That could be a piece of bacon,” he thought.
“In the evening, John would come up with these sketches and ideas and say, ‘Can you build this?” recalled James Klinedinst, project manager for Grindline Skateparks.
And his project was born.
The concept, as soft boiled as it might sound, isn’t much different from current skate parks.
The lead photo on Grindline’s website shows a skateboard flying over what easily could be bacon while in the background an egg-like bump protrudes in the middle of what looks like a carved away frying pan.
Hillding’s project will be art, skateboard park and roadside attraction in a town known for its arch and historic coke ovens.
“I see it like the Andy Warhol Campbell’s soup can,” he said, referencing one of pop art’s iconic images.
Washington is already home to a gigantic frying pan (Long Beach) and the world’s largest egg (Winlock).
One thing for sure: This will be the world’s biggest breakfast. That you skate on.
Hillding hopes to colorize the concrete to give the eggs a decidedly sunny-side-up appearance and the bacon a healthy pink.
Vibrant colors are not a problem, Klinedinst said.
“It’ll be unmistakable as bacon and eggs,” he said.
Grindline has built skate parks in Tacoma, Milton, Sumner, Auburn, Buckley and on Vashon Island. While bacon and eggs would definitely be new for the company, Klinedinst helped Hillding design the project to make it skater-worthy.
“It’s got all the elements that skaters are looking for,” Klinedinst said. Even the hard boiled ones.
The edge of the pan will be metal, a skater’s best friend for grinding. They’ll be able to pump bump off the eggs and jump off the spatula.
Grindline has produced 3-D modeling and developed construction documents.
The feature will be next to the Foothills Trail. The idea is going over easy with Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition President Buzz Grant.
“It’ll be a great amenity to the trail,” he said, adding he thinks the behemoth brunch will get kids out on the trail.
The organization is managing the bacon and eggs fund-raising account for Hillding.
He calls the imagery an “All-American” breakfast. No crepes or quiche need apply.
The food harkens back to the region’s early logging days and Wilkeson’s coke oven heritage, Hillding said.
And maybe the hearty breakfast imagery will encourage notoriously skinny skateboarders to eat more.
Hillding has two fund raiser schedule for July: A Mount Rainier-themed art auction on Saturday (July 8) and a pro skateboard pro demo on July 29.
“I’ve tried to get a bacon sponsor,” he said. It hasn’t happened yet but the fund raising goes on. He will not be deterred.
“This is going to be there long after I’m dead,” Hillding said. “This will be my legacy to the town of Wilkeson.”