My wife and I are on a mission to visit all the oversized local landmarks throughout Minnesota. This blog chronicles those visits and covers other related topics.

Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 - Year In Review

Our Christmas season is nearing an end. We have one more family Christmas party and one office party left. I've had some time to unwind from all of the travel and Christmas fun and now it's time to get back to blogging. We have pretty much exhausted all the big stuff stops along the routes to either of our parents' homes. However, I can say that the pelican was once again dressed for the winter and the crow was decorated with a large "Seasons Greetings" wreath on it's pedestal.

To wrap up the year, here is a brief end of year review of the Big Stuff we have visited in 2007.

World's Largest Prairie ChickenWorld's Largest CrowTwineBall3Giant Green Adirondack Chair

May 12th - World's Largest Crow, Belgrade, MN
May 13th - World's Largest Twine Ball by 1 Man, Darwin, MN
May 13th - A Big Chicken, Delano, MN
June 3rd - Corn Gazebo, Olivia, MN
June 3rd - Big Cow, Bongards, MN
July 4th - World's Largest Coot, Ashby, MN
July 4th - Chief Wenonga, Battle Lake, MN
July 5th - World's Largest Prairie Chicken, Rothsay, MN
July 5th - Giant Canadian Goose, Fergus Falls, MN
August 28th - State Fair Gopher and Large Beef on Parade St. Paul, MN
October 13th - Chief Kandiyohi, Willmar, MN
October 20th - Giant Green Adirondack Chair, St. Paul, MN
November 24th - Giant Replica Runestone, Alexandria, MN

Chief "The Vulture" WenongaBig CowChief KandiyohiDelano chicken2

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy Holidays

Here's hoping that everyone has an udderly fantastic holiday season. And that's no bull.

We begin our 6 day Christmas extravaganza tomorrow that includes 4 Christmases and covers about 520 miles. See you all on the blog again in a week or so.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Soundtrack: Two for the Price of One

I haven't been posting as frequently lately, so I am going to add two songs to the soundtrack list today.

Such Great Heights - by The Postal Service

Because big stuff are tall. And because it's a great song. Yes, it is the song from the UPS commercials, but try to get past that. It was a great song years before UPS got a hold of it.

You can hear it on their MySpace page.
The music video:

Some great covers:
Iron & Wine (set to a video someone put together)
Ben Folds

An Ear For Baby - The Thermals

After listening to The Thermals for a while, you may decide you would rather worship Rocky Taconite than God, that is if you are Christian. The Thermals write some politically and religiously (can't really seem to have one without the other) charged music. I chose The Thermals mostly because I like them and also because I can justify it based on my very loose guidelines. The song "An Ear For Baby" had the best title for the soundtrack. Exhibit A. World's Largest Ear of Corn For Baby?

You can hear other songs by The Thermals on their MySpace.

A live performance at NYU of "I Might Need For You To Kill" and "An Ear For Baby". "An Ear For Baby" starts at about 2:19.

The list so far:
Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota - Weird Al Yankovic
Stevie Nix - The Hold Steady
Mr. Big Stuff - Jean Knight (or Heavy D & the Boyz)
Such Great Heights - The Postal Service
An Ear For Baby - The Thermals

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Iowa Map

Yay, more maps! The Iowa map is complete. Iowa is home to a wide variety of roadside attractions, so if you are planning a trip to Iowa and love more than just big stuff (like clock museums), do some research ahead of time. Iowa lays claim to some delicious big stuff; The World's Largest Strawberry, The World's Largest Popcorn Ball, The World's Largest Ice Cream Sundae, and The World's Largest Bull (Albert the Bull). Mmmmmmm......cow.

Thanks to Vast Wasteland for the pic of Albert.

One of the best, if not the best, small town claims to fame is Riverside's "Future Birthplace of James T. Kirk". They even had a model built of the USS...uhhh...Riverside, yeah that's the ticket, which has an uncanny resemblance to the USS Enterprise.

Image from Roadside America

As always, if I missed something, let me know.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Wisconsin Map

My Big Stuff - Wisconsin map is done. Wisconsin has quite a collection going, but it doesn't quite compare to that of Minnesota. Wisconsin is home to a plethora of giant cows and oversized mice holding cheese. Wisconsin is also home to the World's Largest Penny, the World's Largest 6-Pack, the World's Third Largest Loon (Nice try, Wisconsin), the World's Tallest Grandfather Clock, a legitimate challenger to the World's Biggest Ball of Twine title, and a mythical beast known as the Hodag.

Hodag photo from RoadsideAmerica

Wisonsin's biggest contributions to the Big Stuff community are the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward, which has the World's Largest Fiberglass Fish (world's largest fiberglass anything), and F.A.S.T. Corp., the company that makes many of these large fiberglass icons.

View Larger Map

If you know of any that I may be missing, please let me know. I probably missed a dozen mouse with cheese statues.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Soundtrack: Appropriate Band Names

I have found a few bands with names that are perfect for a mix like this. Unfortunately, I haven't found any songs by them that I care for enough to include on my list. But, if you are playing along at home, you may want to check these bands out. They are three bands from three different genres.

Big In Iowa - It is a perfect name for this mix. They have a honky-tonk sound and I'm not really a honky-tonk guy. They have some audio clips on their website. Oh, and they are from Ohio, not Iowa.

Giant's Chair - Ideal for visiting a giant chair. They classify themselves as an emo band. You can hear some of their songs on their MySpace page.

I, Colossus - These guys are a Minneapolis band with an electronica/indie/folk rock type of sound. I may change my mind about these guys with more listens. Their MySpace page.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fallen Heroes: The Mighty Og

The Mighty Og is (or was) the upper half of a giant gorilla made out of wire and paper, at least that is my understanding. It is also my understanding that his name was originally O.G., as in "Oh gee, that's half of a big ugly gorilla." At some point his name became Og. He was originally located at Rawhide City, a tourist attraction near Mandan, ND.

Picture of Og at Rawhide City. RoadsideAmerica

Reportedly, Og was purchased by an implement dealer in Harvey, ND when Rawhide City went bankrupt, as to keep Og in the state of North Dakota. He had planned on putting him on the roof of his building but did not because he was told it would void his roof warranty. Eventually he was given a spot along Highway 52 outside of Harvey to put The Mighty Og. There he rested, with a pole in his head that had a hornet on top of it for the Harvey Hornets, until a storm destroyed Og. From what I can tell, I'm guessing that storm was in 2005 or maybe 2004.

More pictures located here

Monday, November 26, 2007

Giant Replica Runestone

November 24th, 2007 - Alexandria, MN

Giant Replica Runestone

We were being very Minnesotan on this day. Few things are more Minnesotan than looking at an oversized replica of a Viking artifact when it's 32 degrees outside and quite windy (but we weren't cold because we are hearty Minnesotans and hearty Minnesotans are never cold, rather it was "brisk" out) and then going for ice cream. It can be 20 below and Minnesotans will still line up for ice cream. It's the key to Dairy Queen's success as a Minnesota franchise.

I talked a bit about the Kensington Runestone earlier when I posted about Big Ole. In brief, a large stone was found by a farmer near Kensington, MN with Viking runes carved into it in the late 1800s. The stone provides evidence that the Vikings were here before Columbus. Many people believe this stone to be a fake. The Runestone Museum makes a strong case for the stone.

The inscription in English, according to the Holland Translation, is:

On the front of the stone - We are 8 Swedes and 22 Norwegians on an exploring journey from Vinland through the west. We had a camp by a lake with 2 rocky islands one day's trip north from this stone. We were out and fished one day. After we came home we found 10 of our men red with blood and dead. Ave Maria save us from evil.

On the side of the stone - We have 10 of our party by the sea to look after our ships 14 day's trip from this island. Year 1362.

Giant Replica Runestone

This replica is 5 times larger than the real runestone and is made from granite. It was commissioned by the Alexandria Kiwanis Club in 1951. Both the replica runestone and Big Ole went to the 1964 New York World's Fair.

We saw the power of the runestone first-hand. On November 4th, we were at the Minnesota Vikings game against the San Diego Chargers. The actual Kensington Runestone was on display on the plaza before the game (we didn't know this until they announced it before kickoff) and was on the sideline during the game. The Vikings dominated the Chargers with exceptional defense and a record setting performance by Adrian Peterson. That's right, the runestone was there as the Viking rookie set the NFL single-game rushing record. What more evidence do you need than that?

Tip: If you are visiting this replica stone on a Sunday, prepare yourself for the possibility of encountering church traffic.

Warning: Old People Driving Slowly

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I wonder how long it would take to cook a 5,000 pound turkey? Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Soundtrack: Mr. Big Stuff

Mr. Big Stuff - by Jean Knight

I'm sure most of you know this one. I guess it's a classic. I think we all know what it's about too, Oreo cookies.

Here's a terrible video someone made to Mr. Big Stuff. I mean it's terrible. For some people it might be can't look terrible, others train wreck terrible, and yet for others hilarious terrible.

Here's something for you straight out of 1986. I don't know about you, but I could go for a Coke.

The list so far:
Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota - Weird Al Yankovic
Stevie Nix - The Hold Steady
Mr. Big Stuff - by Jean Knight (or Heavy D & the Boyz)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fallen Heroes: The Last of the Happy Chefs

I was all set to do a Fallen Heroes post on the Happy Chef, but decided to try to confirm whether or not the Mankato Happy Chef was gone. I went to and emailed them. They promptly responded Monday morning with this:

"The only statue left is the one in Mankato."

I don't normally post a picture of a Minnesota "target" until we visit it and photograph it, but I will make an exception this time. If you are unfamiliar with the Happy Chef, this is what the statues look like.

Picture from RoadsideAmerica

Happy Chef is a family-style restaurant chain founded in 1963 and based in Mankato. The chain grew to as many as 56 restaurants across 7 states. Many of them had their own Happy Chef statue. The statues stood 36 feet tall and had a button that would play a recorded message when pushed. Today there are only 16 restaurants left in Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota and only one statue remains.

A few Happy Chef statues managed to survive and find work elsewhere. A Happy Chef from Cedar Rapids, IA found work as a baseball umpire in Ryan, IA.

Image provided by Roadside Architecture

Another got a job as a chimney sweep in Kansas.

Picture thanks to Dorsia

There is a nice article from 2005 about Sal Frederick, the founder of Happy Chef, here.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Soundtrack: The Hold Steady

Stevie Nix - by The Hold Steady

The Hold Steady are my favorite band right now, so I just had to find a way to fit them in. In their song Stevie Nix they reference the Thunderbird with the line "The carpet at the Thunderbird has a burn for every cowboy that got fenced in." That's good enough for me!

The Hold Steady are based in Brooklyn, NY but they have very strong ties with the Twin Cities, which is evident in their music. The lead singer, Craig Finn, is from Edina and played with guitarist Tad Kublar (of Janesville, WI) in their former band, Minneapolis's Lifter Puller. I believe the keyboardist, Franz, is also from Minneapolis.
The Hold Steady on MySpace
Stevie Nix performed Live at First Avenue
The Hold Steady live might not be for everybody. Plus, his voice is extra scratchy in this video.

The list so far:
Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota - Weird Al Yankovic
Stevie Nix - The Hold Steady

Friday, November 9, 2007

South Dakota Map

South Dakota is home to the World's Largest Pheasant, a couple Muffler Men, Dinosaur Park, President's Park, and, my favorite, these tire guys.

Picture from

Oh, they also have that Rushmore place, but national monuments don't really belong on a list like this. Check out the Big Stuff map for South Dakota here.

If the picture above shows up as a red X, there are two things you can do. 1) Click on the RoadsideAmerica link below the picture and you will go to the RoadsideAmerica page about it. B) Right click on the picture, click on Properties, and copy the Address. Then paste the address in your address bar. This will show the picture and then if you click Back, the picture will show up on this page.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Soundtrack of Our Big Stuff

Besides being totally dorky about these big things, I'm a little bit of a music dork too. And being a music dork, I make theme cd's from time to time, like a math & stats mix (since I'm a statistical analyst) and a pharmacy mix for my wife and a few ultimate frisbee mixes over the years, so I can't help myself but to make one about big stuff. I figure I have some time to build such a soundtrack, so I'll post a song or a band/artist here and there that have some sort of connection to big stuff. When I say "some sort of connection" I mean anything at all, no matter how thin, that I can construe to a relationship with this theme. Heck, I might even end up posting something that I am just really into at the moment. I'll try to avoid that though. I will also try my best to link to a myspace page or band website so you can at least hear something by the band, even if it isn't the song I posted about.

I'll start this list with the big obvious song that is actually about one of the big stuffs.

Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota - by Wierd Al Yankovic

There is a Youtube video of him performing it live HERE. He doesn't start singing it until about the 2:20 mark and I don't think they got the whole thing.
Somebody made a pretty good scrapbook type video for this song HERE.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Map Update

I was looking at pictures on Anglerove's Flickr page (one of my research techniques) and found that there is a large cow, similar to the Bongards Cow, in Austin, MN. I think they are from the same mold. The only apparent difference is the paint job. The Austin cow is named Buffy and is brown and white rather than black and white. There is just a little bit of information on Buffy on the Austin Convention and Visitor's Bureau webpage here: (You have to click on "Points of Interest" and then click on "Other".)

I have added Buffy to the map.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Fallen Heroes: The Indians at the Thunderbird

Fallen Heroes is a feature I'm starting that I hope to be able to come back to from time to time and it hopefully will fill in the gaps nicely between big stuff visits. Fallen Heroes looks back to big stuff that once stood proudly but now are no longer on display.

We begin at the Thunderbird. The Thunderbird is a hotel/motel in Bloomington, MN. It was built in 1962 near the airport and very near Metropolitan Stadium, the original home of the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. Metropolitan Stadium is long gone and so is the Met, home of the North Stars which stood nearby. They have been replaced with the Mall of America and an IKEA. The Thunderbird is still there, but is now owned by Ramada.

The Thunderbird used to feature two twenty-some foot tall fiberglass indians. (Pictures below are courtesy of Mykl Roventine.)

These indians were removed in the spring of 2006 when the Thunderbird was being remodeled. Some reports indicated that these two were trashed; sometimes these things get moved to other locations. It would be a shame if they were trashed. Nobody wants their life to end in a dumpster in a motel parking lot. This picture on indicates foul play. No oversized fiberglass indian would go anywhere without his moccasins.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Montana Map

The Big Stuff map for Montana is complete. There isn't much in Montana, but they do have the World's Largest Talking Penguin, a couple Muffler Men, and something called "The Creature", among a few others.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

We're all caught up!

I have posted all of the attractions we have been to so far, which means we need to go out and see some more big stuff. In the meantime however, I will try to keep the blog updated with other big stuff related topics.

Thanks for reading and please stay tuned. (Is that what you say about blogs? Stay tuned?)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Giant Gopher and the Minnesota State Fair

August 28th, 2007 - St. Paul, MN


The Minnesota State Fair celebrates everything Minnesotans love including cheese curds,

Cheese Curds

food on a stick,

Hotdish On A Stick B&W

and big stuff. The mascots of the state fair are Fairchild and Fairweather, who are gophers (it is the Gopher State afterall). A giant Fairchild stands on top of an information booth on the fairgrounds. While we were at the fair, we happened to catch a parade. And what a parade it was! It had mascots, cute kids, a guy on this wheel contraption, and big stuff....on wheels!



Kids on Parade

Wacky Wheeler

Big Bull on Wheels

Big Holstein on Wheels

Big Bull on Wheels

On our way out we saw a giant frog made from trash. I didn't really read any of the stuff around it, but the message here is obvious. Recycle. Or face a future of giant mutant frogs roaming the Earth and destroying everything in their paths.

Recycle Frog

You can see all of my Minnesota State Fair pics here.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Canadian Goose

July 5th, 2007 - Fergus Falls, MN

Canadian Goose

We stopped in Fergus Falls again on our way home. The last time was for the otter, this time it's for the goose. The goose is at the corner of Lincoln Ave and College Way next to the Ottertail County Historical Society. I don't really know anything about the goose. It's definitely more of an artsy type big stuff and not a historical or civic type big stuff. Perhaps it was built out of great foresight to the coming age of the goose. Afterall, they are acquiring numbers and can be very aggressive. The west side of Fergus Falls will be treated well by our goose overlords while the east side will suffer for their otter worship. Regardless of why it was built, it is pretty cool.

Tip: Stock up on ammunition and goose statuettes.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

World's Largest Prairie Chicken

July 5th, 2007 - Rothsay, MN

World's Largest Prairie Chicken

We simply didn't get enough big stuff on the 4th. We stayed at my parents' place the night of the 4th and headed back to the Twin Cities on the 5th. We took a little detour, through a lake actually (County 24 was just a little bit under water east of Rothsay), to get to the prairie chicken.

In 1975, Rothsay named itself the Prairie Chicken Capital of Minnesota and the prairie chicken statue was built in 1976. The terrain around Rothsay is lots of flat prairie and farm fields, a great environment for the prairie chicken. It was built out of cement by Art Fosse and Dale Western and it depicts the bird's unique mating ritual, called booming. The prairie chicken is 13 feet tall and 18 feet from tip to tail. There are displays around the prairie chicken where you can learn more about these birds.

Prairie Chicken Capital

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Giant Adirondack Chair

October 20, 2007 - St. Paul, MN

Giant Green Adirondack Chair

It's another new one!

The chair was built in 2002, but it is not the original chair. The first giant green adirondack chair fell victim to weather due to untreated materials. It was built in 1995 as a way to produce publicity for the Green Chair Project.

The Green Chair Project began in 1991 by Joel Sisson and Chris Hand after two lawn chairs were stolen from their backyard. With the help of kids from this rough neighborhood, they built 90 green adirondack chairs that they gave to everyone in the neighborhood.

You can find out more about the Green Chair Project at these links:

This may be the world's largest adirondack chair, but I don't know for sure. There is also a giant green adirondack chair from the Green Chair Project in Washington D.C.

Thanks to Mykl Roventine for helping me find the chair and to Agilitynut for the information on the Green Chair Project.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Chief Wenonga

July 4th, 2007 - Battle Lake, MN

Chief "The Vulture" Wenonga

We headed north from Ashby to Battle Lake to see Chief "The Vulture" Wenonga. In 1795, Wenonga led some 50 Ojibwe warriors into battle with the Dakota near here. They were victorious, but only a few Ojibwe survived, including Wenonga. All of the Dakota were killed. Native Americans named the lake Ish-quan-a-de-win-ing, which roughly translates to "Where but few survived." Settlers eventually renamed it Battle Lake.

The giant fiberglass Wenonga is 23 feet tall, was built in 1979, and stands on the western shore of Battle Lake. The town of Battle Lake celebrates Wenonga Days each July.

On our way out of town we stopped at the Dairy Queen for ice cream cones. I highly recommend it.

Friday, October 19, 2007

World's Largest Coot

July 4th, 2007 - Ashby, MN

World's Largest Coot

Celebrate your nation's independence by visiting big stuff.

It's another 4th of July and we find ourselves at big stuff once again. Last year we stopped at the World's Largest Otter on our way to my aunt's place, but this year we took a different route. This one brings us right through Ashby and right past the World's Largest Coot.

If you are wondering what a coot is exactly, it's a kind of duck that is commonly referred to as a mud hen. They are also commonly shot at. By hunters. With guns. Which is the reason this guy is there in the first place. The coot stands at the Ashby Trap Range, perhaps for some inspiration. He was built in 1991 by Steve Morgan for the Ashby Coot Feed and stands 10 feet tall. He was made out of concrete, which may be good for a trap range but it made his wings too heavy and they needed to be braced. This may not make the coot the nicest looking big stuff, but it still has some very good detail to it despite it's design flaw.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bongards Cow

June 3rd, 2007 - Bongards, MN

Big Cow

About 12 miles west of the outermost Minneapolis suburbs on Highway 212 is the tiny town of Bongards. The town basically consists of Bongards' Creameries, a church, a house or two, and a giant holstein cow. The cow is directly across the street from the cheese store, as if you couldn't find it anyway.

There seems to be a number of cows exactly like this one scattered across Wisconsin, but this is the only one in Minnesota. The world's largest is Salem Sue in New Salem, ND.

Big Cow

Tip: Go sometime when the cheese store is open. We were there on a Sunday evening and it was closed. I'm willing to bet that they have tasty cheese.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Big Ear of Corn

June 3rd, 2007 - Olivia, MN

Ear of Corn

Travelling back from Marshall, MN to the Twin Cities (from a cousin's graduation party), we pass through Olivia and right by a giant ear of corn affixed atop a gazebo. The ear is 25 feet tall and made of fiberglass. The city of Olivia put up the ear in 1973 to help stake it's claim as "The Corn Capital". The capital of what exactly, I don't know.

Corn Capital

Olivia Newton John showed up to dedicate the ear of corn and asked only for "fresh bread and two dozen ears of corn" for her trouble.

Rumor has it that the ear of corn hides a Minuteman Missile, since it made it's appearance during the Cold War. Considering the tremendous fire power hidden within North and South Dakota, I don't believe it was necessary to hide a missile in a fiberglass ear of corn on top of a roadside gazebo in Olivia, MN. It's just a hunch. Call me crazy.

Tip: Don't get too close to the ear of corn. It may go off.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Chief Kandiyohi

October 13th, 2007

Chief Kandiyohi

I'm interrupting our trip back in time to blog about a new addition to the collection, Chief Kandiyohi. We were in Willmar this weekend for a wedding. There was a little bit of time to kill between the ceremony and the reception, so we headed over to visit the big golden Indian.

Chief Kandiyohi is 17 feet tall and stands in front of the public library on top of a 7 foot tall cement pedestal. This Indian image was born in 1915 when it appeared as the Kandiyohi County Bank symbol. In that same year, the bank commissioned Eben E. Lawson to create "Kandiyohi", a smaller sculpture that was the basis for the larger one.

In 1929, Chief Kandiyohi found a home with the Bank of Willmar after several bank mergers. In 1956, Bank of Willmar President Norman Tallakson contracted to have the large sculpture built. The new statue was mounted on the bank and stood there for 27 years. The statue was donated to the City of Willmar and Kandiyohi County in 1983 by First American Bank and Trust of Willmar and was moved to it's current site on July 25th of that year.

There was no real Chief Kandiyohi. Kandiyohi is a Dakota word meaning "where the buffalo fish come."

This is the second pantsless man we have seen on our tour.

Friday, October 12, 2007

A Big Chicken

May 13th, 2007 - Delano, MN

Delano chicken1

Further east on Highway 12 from Darwin we come across this large chicken. He stands next to a gas station and overlooks the highway. He is 13 feet tall and is goofy looking. I don't know if it's his ugly looking feet, the fact that he carries himself like a human, or that creepy guy who wears nothing but a trench coat and exposes himself pose, but this guy is so odd you have to love it.

For a history of the chicken, go to this page from the Delano Herald Journal.

Here's another shot from his good side.

Delano chicken2

Thursday, October 11, 2007

World's Largest Ball of Twine by 1 Man

May 13th, 2007 - Darwin, MN


On our way home from Willmar, we decided to take Highway 12 so we could stop in Darwin for the twine ball. Francis A. Johnson built the twine ball, by himself, 4 hours a day for 29 years from 1950 to 1979. In 1979, the Guinness Book of World Records honored Johnson by giving his work the title of World's Largest Ball of Twine. The Guinness Book withdrew that title in 1994 when another twine ball surpassed Johnson's. Johnson's twine ball weighs 17,400 pounds, is 12 feet in diameter, and approximately 40 feet in circumference.

Francis Johnson died in 1989, partly from emphysema cause by the chemicals used to treat the twine. Love is a cruel mistress. Believe it or not, Ripley's tried to buy the twine ball after Johnson's death but they were unsuccessful. The city of Darwin moved the ball from Johnson's farm to a plexiglass-walled gazebo in the center of town. Every August, on the second Saturday of the month, Darwin celebrates Twine Ball Day.


There are two balls that are larger than the Darwin twine ball and a third up-and-comer.

The one that currently holds the record for gigantism is the ball of twine in Cawker City, KS. It was started in 1953 by Frank Stoeber and reached a diameter of 11 feet in 1961 when he turned it over to the city. Stroeber passed away in 1974. To honor Stoeber, the city took on the ball as a city project and holds a Twine-a-Thon every year so the ball keeps growing.

The other ball that is larger is owned by Ripley's Believe It or Not! and is made out of lightweight plastic string and was also a team effort. It's on display in Branson, MO.

There is one twine ball in Wisconsin that is a legitimate contender. It's the work of James Frank Kotera. Kotera tightly ties his twine making his twine ball much heavier than the rest. JFK's twine ball weighs an estimated 19,336 pounds.