The world’s largest Easter egg (albeit inedible) is located in Vegreville, a small town of 6,000 residents in central Alberta, Canada. This Ukrainian-style easter egg or Pysanka is located in Elks Park at the intersection of 43 St and 49 Ave (see map below for driving direction).
Vegreville Pysanka is a centenary project for years 1874-1974. The project, assisted by the Alberta RCMP Century Celebrations Committee, was undertaken by the Vegreville and District Chamber of Commerce in recognition of one hundred years of cultural progress in Alberta. Without the support of the Vegreville community and the leadership exhibited by the RCMP Century Celebrations Committee chaired by Ralph Gorrie, the Vegreville PYSANKA would never have been erected. Members of the committee were Joe Blonsky, William Dowhaniuk, Jerry Lidin, Kay McKenzie, Gordon Miller, Virgil Moshansky, George Nestman, Peter Shavchook, and Jerry Wilde. The efforts of the many volunteers who supplied their services, time and equipment to complete the project are gratefully acknowledged. Of the great variety of projects undertaken to mark the Celebrations, none can be regarded as more unique than the Ukrainian Pysanka (Easter Egg) undertaken by Vegreville. It spectacularly contrives to combine the ancient traditions of one of Alberta’s largest ethnic groups with architectural and geometric developments that represent breakthroughs in modern science, thus linking heritage and progress.
The PYSANKA has existed as part of the Ukrainian tradition for many centuries. Archaeologists have discovered numerous samples of decorated eggs, dating back to pre-Christian times. As Ukraine accepted Christianity, the talismanic meanings of the PYSANKA were adapted and blended with religious beliefs. This interweaving of pagan and religious traditions can still be seen in today’s pysanka designs.
The symbols and colors of the PYSANKA have always had special significance, individually and as a whole, depending on the age and position in the community of the maker and recipient and the time of year the egg was presented.
It is fitting that the design of the Vegreville PYSANKA incorporated the spirit of pas tradition:
- The radiating sunburst star has always been a basic symbol in pysanka design. It has also been represented in rose form with five to eight points. It symbolizes eternal life, growth, and good fortune.
- The color scheme of the egg is also significant. Bronze has always symbolized Mother Earth and her fertility. The white silver infinite lines suggest pureness, innocence and birth within the never-ending regeneration of Mankind. Yellow color, which universally represents prosperity and happiness, is used to pay tribute to the future prosperous harvests of life.
- The combination of golden triangles forms church-like motifs and represents a trinity of symbols, often associated with the familial unity of man, woman, and child.
- The wolf-tooth or saw design carries the message of protection and security afforded the early settlers of this area by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It is a symbol associated with strength and wisdom.
- The central six-pointed stars of gold and silver represent windmills, which symbolize a rich harvest.
- One of the simplest yet most common designs is the straight line. Encircling the egg through the silver triangles, it repeats the idea of eternal life.
- Material: Aluminum permanently anodized in gold, bronze, and silver.
- Number of pieces: 524 star patterns; 2208 triangular pieces; 3512 visible facets; 6978 nuts and bolts; 177 internal struts
- Weight: aluminum skin 2000lbs, internal structure 3000lbs, base 27000lbs
- Dimensions: length 25.7ft, width 18.3ft, highest point from ground 31.0ft
- Over 12,000 man hours of design and fabrication were required to develop the structure.
Map & Driving Direction
Exact location of Easter Egg Parking Lot is indicated by Green Arrow on the following map (click EXTERNAL LINK below to view map).