Americans love all things big. That makes “world’s largest” roadside attractions the perfect oversized tributes to our country’s obsession with grandeur. While looking for things to do on your next road trip, we bet you’ll notice that some small town along the way has found something they’re especially good at that can be made into something hilariously huge to attract crowds of road-trippers.
Towns that aren’t especially good at anything get in on the act, too, by turning ordinary things like the town’s water tower into, say, a giant mustard bottle. As a youngster, you and your family may have stopped at a few roadside giants on your way to and from wherever it was that you were going. Now, as an adult, you’ve found you’ve developed quite an addiction to see the largest that America’s roadside has to offer.
It usually starts simple. You’ll be touring around the northeastern shore of Lake Michigan, so why not stop and see the World’s Largest Cherry Pie Pan in Charlevoix, Michigan? But wait! What’s that? There’s another World’s Largest Cherry Pie Pan only fifty miles away in Traverse City, Michigan? Well, it’s only a 50 miles detour and since you’re in the area …
Then, you start thinking, “You know who loved cherry pie? George Washington!” So, you start planning next year’s trip to George, WA, so you can take your picture with the world’s largest bust of the Father of Our Country, located in front of — get this — a Union 76 station! (Incidentally, George, WA, also boasts that it makes the world’s largest cherry pie every July 4th.)
But there’s more — there’s always more when it comes to “world’s largest.” Take the World’s Largest Ball of Twine by One Man in Darwin, Minnesota, for example. The now 12-feet in diameter, the 17,400 pound ball of twine was, indeed, started by one man named Francis A. Johnson in March 1950. From that day on, Johnson would spend four hours every day wrapping more twine around the ball for the next 29 years. That’s dedication to your craft, folks. Also dedicated to their craft are Mike and Glenda Carmichael, who have been taking care of the World’s Largest Ball of Paint in Alexandria Indiana, for 36 years, occasionally adding another coat to 23,400 existing layers of paint.
Most roadside enthusiasts of all things large agree that Atlantic City, NJ’s Lucy the Elephant is the world’s first “world’s largest” roadside attraction. Often called the father of the roadside attraction, James V. Lafferty built Lucy as a publicity stunt in 1881 after he became owner of some undeveloped real estate just south of Atlantic City. In an attempt to attract buyers to the land, it seemed only natural to build a huge elephant to draw them in — and it worked.
After erecting the $38,000 pachyderm, he climbed up to its howdah and started auctioning off parcels of land. Even after he sold off all of his land, Lucy remained, having become so popular that even President Woodrow Wilson once paid her a visit. A year later, Lafferty would patent his giant animal building, claiming that any other animal-shaped building, whether it be “fish, fowl, etc.,” would be an infringement upon his invention; however, when his patent expired in 1899, many forms of novelty architecture (including buildings shaped like fish, fowl, and the like) have been a staple of roadside America ever since.
While it’s true that there are other countries, like New Zealand and Australia, that also lay claim to “world’s largest” roadside attractions, America surely has the world’s largest collection of “world’s largest” roadside attractions. Is it an addiction? We’d like to think of it more as a love affair.
And speaking of love affairs and the American road, when was the last time you had a bite of America’s favorite road snack food that everybody loves — the Stuckey’s Pecan Log Roll? We’ve got what we claim to be the “world’s largest” pecan log roll with our 10 oz. big daddy treat that can feed a family of five. The next time you’re out exploring America’s highways and byways looking for some of the world’s largest roadside attractions, be sure to stop in one of the local Stuckey’s locations for road trip snacks that’ll satisfy even the world’s largest hunger. We’re talking about our world-famous pecan log rolls, pecan divinity, and other fine pecan candies, along with our bags of flavored pecans and mouthwatering popcorn that are perfect for snacking while driving around the neighborhood … or around the country.
And don’t forget that tomorrow is the last day for those living east of the Mississippi to order your Stuckey’s “Mama’s Day Gift Box” and get it by Mother’s Day!
It’s chock full of all of the things all Mamas really want on Mother’s Day like 3 – 2 oz. Pecan Log Roll, 1 – 8 oz. Caramel Popcorn, 1 6 oz. Pecan Log Roll, 1 8 oz. Pecan Divinity Tub, 1 – 9 oz. Pecan Halves, 1 – 4 oz. T&S Pecans, 1 – Original Pecan Roll Coffee Mug and 1 Recipe Card!
For those living west of the Mississippi, if you haven’t ordered your “Mama’s Day Gift Box” yet, you still can, but it won’t be there for Mama’s Day. Lucky for you, your Mama knows it’s the thought that counts, so be sure to order yours today!
Stuckey’s – Were Making Road Trips Fun Again!
Whether your next road trip is by car or by rail, it’s not really a road trip without taking Stuckey’s along. From our world famous Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls to our mouthwatering Hunkey Dorey, Stuckey’s has all the road trips snacks you’ll need to get you where you’re going.
For all of the pecany good treats and cool merch you’ll need for your next big road adventure, browse our online store now!
Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!