World's Largest Carousel at House on the Rock

World’s Largest Carousel


Inside the legendary House on the Rock along Highway 23 south of Spring Green, Wisconsin, you’ll find the World’s Largest Carousel. This amazing, dizzying display of lights, animals, figurines and more sits inside one of the House on the Rock buildings.

This carousel, replete with music similar to the tunes emanating from so many other instruments in this dazzling attraction, features over 20,000 lights; 182 chandeliers; and 269 animals – ironically, not one of them is a horse. Making its debut in 1981, the World’s Largest Carousel measures 80 feet in diameter, is 35 feet high, and weights 36 tons!

No, you can’t ride it.




World’s Largest Carousel Address:

Inside House on the Rock
5754 Wisconsin Highway 23
Spring Green, WI 53588
(608) 935-3639
Website

Chatty Belle, the World's Largest Talking Cow

Chatty Belle, the World’s Largest Talking Cow

Chatty Belle, the World's Largest Talking CowIf you’re going to chat with a cow, why not pick one who chats back? Chatty Belle, the World’s Largest Talking Cow, is ready to converse with you in Neillsville. Chatty is a big Belle, standing 16 feet tall and 20 feet long; she’s about seven times largest than the average Holstein cow. But then again, the average Holstein doesn’t talk.

Chatty was for the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City and was installed in Neillsville, the seat of Clark County, afterward. She given her name by a 1st grader who hailed from nearby Loyal in 1966 – the prize for the little girl’s naming skills was 100 pounds of butter and a trip through the Grassland Dairy Cheese Factory.

So with Chatty’s size, how productive would she be if she were real vs. a fiberglass Holstein? James Crowley, a former Extension Dairyman at the University of Wisconsin, ran the numbers and calculated that Chatty would produce 270 pounds of milk per day – that’s 83,000 pounds per year. She’s also consumer 11 tons of grain, equivalent to 24.5 tons of silage, per year. That’s 24.5 tons of silage for 41.5 tons of milk, if you like figuring the ratios.

Chatty was originally branded as the world’s largest cow, but there was a larger one elsewhere. So a coin-operated voice box was added, allowing her to keep the title of “World’s Largest Talking Cow.” Chatty’s conversational abilities lean toward touting Wisconsin’s dairy products (shocker) but her voice box has been off-and-on in operation lately, so we can’t guarantee she’ll be in a talkative mood when you see her.

Neillsville's WCCN Station and WI World's Fair Pavilion BuildingNext door is the building used for the Wisconsin Pavilion in the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City; its design is very 60s/Jetsons/retro-but-futuristic. This cool structure now houses WCCN-AM/FM & WPKG-FM radio, along with a gift shop that sells post cards and cheese. The broadcast-style tower atop the building, with “Wisconsin” spelled out in vertical lettering, drew plenty of attention at the World’s Fair.

Chatty sits right along U.S. 10 just east of downtown Neillsville. Highway 73 comes within a few blocks to the west; Highway 95 approaches Neillsville from the south and is also a good access point.

Address for Chatty Belle, the World’s Largest Talking Cow:

1201 E. Division Street (U.S. 10)
Neillsville, WI 54456
(715) 743-2222
Facebook page

 




Ben Bikin statue in Sparta

Ben Bikin, the World’s Largest Bicyclist

Ben Bikin is the crown jewel in Sparta’s crown as the “Bicycling Capital of America.” Sparta is the northern terminus of the Elroy-Sparta Trail, the first rail-to-trail project in the United States. Other major trails, including the La Crosse River Trail, converge here. The city celebrates bicycling throughout the year, although summer and fall is clearly preferred.

Ben Bikin stands 32 feet high atop an 1890s-era Penny Farthing bicycle. A local company, F.A.S.T. (Fiberglass, Animals, Shapes, and Trademarks) Corp., created the statue, where he’s been stationary in his present location in 1995. He is considered the World’s Largest Bicyclist.

The statue of Ben inspired the mayor of Port Byron, Illinois to commission FAST Corp to build a similar statue for their town. This replica in Illinois was named Will B. Rollin’ and it inspired a bicycle ride between the two towns. Now, the annual Will To Ben Bike Tour gives riders the opportunity to cover over 300 miles of beautiful roadways from Will B. Rollin’ in Port Byron to Ben Bikin in Sparta. Will To Ben runs annually in early October, when fall colors are often at or close to peak.

Ben Bikin even has his own Facebook page. You’ll find him perched on his bike at the corner of Highway 16/71 (Wisconsin Street) and Water, on the edge of downtown Sparta.

Ben Bikin Address:

101 E. Wisconsin Street (Highways 16/71 at Highway 21)
Sparta, WI 54656
(800) 354-2453




Sparta is also home to the Deke Slayton Memorial & Bicycle Museum and has a lot of small town charm. Highways 16, 21, 27, and 71 reach Sparta, as well as I-90 via Exits 25 and 28. Tomah is about 15 miles to the east and La Crosse is about 25 miles to the west-southwest. The city is in the midst of Wisconsin’s beautiful Driftless Area and features abrupt hills and attractive topography.

World's Largest Muskie in Hayward, along US Highway 63

World’s Largest Muskie

Hayward hosts the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, so it’s only natural they would also have the World’s Largest Muskie. Standing 143 feet long and 41 feet tall, the muskie holds names of world record-holders in fishing across the world – over 3,000 entries. You can check out the names and climb the steps to show yourself from the muskie’s mouth, 4 stories off the ground. It’s a popular place to get your picture taken… how can one resist?? This fish also holds the title of the World’s Largest Fiberglass Sculpture, so you’re getting two for one in terms of “World’s Largest” distinctions.

National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame grounds - fiberglass fishCheck out the grounds of the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame while you’re there. The six acre spread includes the “Sea of Fishes” (why not a “school of fishes”??), a sculpture garden peppered with perch, bluegill, and more. Some are clutching fiberglass frogs; some have lures in their mouths. All are fun and interesting works of art. The museum has over 5,000 fishing lures on display along with 200 rods and reels, 400 mounted fish, and a room of outboard motors (remember, the outboard motor was invented in Wisconsin!)

We have a whole gallery of photos here.

National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame front entrance.

You’ll find the World’s Largest Muskie at the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in Sawyer County in the midst of the vast North Woods. It’s just south of downtown Hayward nestled between Hayward Lake and Highway 27. U.S. 63 and Highway 77 are within blocks. The National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame is open year ’round, so feel free to attend on a hot summer day, a chilly winter day during the annual American Birkebeiner, or the World Lumberjack Championships, which takes place annually just a stone’s throw away.

Address:
10360 Hall of Fame Drive (Highway 27)
Hayward, WI
(715) 634-4440
Website

 

World’s Largest Muskie

Hayward hosts the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, an “international headquarters for education, recognition, and promotion of freshwater sport fishing” (their words from their website.)

So it’s only fitting that this Hall of Fame would host the World’s Largest Fiberglass Sculpture, which is also the World’s Largest Muskie. Standing 143 feet long and 41 feet tall, the muskie holds names of world record-holders in fishing across the world – over 3,000 entries. You can check out the names and climb the steps to show yourself from the muskie’s mouth, 4 stories off the ground. It’s a popular place to get your picture taken… how can one resist??

National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame grounds - fiberglass fishIt’s more than the big muskie, though. The six acre spread includes the “Sea of Fishes” (why not a “school of fishes”??), a sculpture garden peppered with perch, bluegill, and more. Some are clutching fiberglass frogs; some have lures in their mouths. All are fun and interesting works of art. The museum has over 5,000 fishing lures on display along with 200 rods and reels, 400 mounted fish, and a room of outboard motors (remember, the outboard motor was invented in Wisconsin!)

National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame front entrance.

You’ll find the World’s Largest Muskie at the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in Sawyer County, just south of downtown Hayward nestled between Hayward Lake and Highway 27. U.S. 63 and Highway 77 are within blocks. The National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame is open year ’round, so feel free to attend on a hot summer day, a chilly winter day during the annual American Birkebeiner, or the World Lumberjack Championships, which takes place annually just a stone’s throw away.

Address:
10360 Hall of Fame Drive (Highway 27)
Hayward, WI
(715) 634-4440
Website

World's Largest Soup Kettle, Laona

World’s Largest Soup Kettle

Laona is known to many for its Lumberjack Steam Train, but did you also know they have the World’s Largest Soup Kettle? This tiny burg in Forest County where U.S. 8 and Highway 32 features this large gray pot, dangling by a tripod wood supports in a town park. The kettle has a seven-foot circumference and is three feet deep.

One day each August, the Laona Lions Club hosts Community Soup Day, with free soup that used to be – but no longer is – made in the kettle. That stems from a tradition dating back to the 1920s; today it continues… just bring your own bowl if you plan on attending!

Information on Laona’s Community Soup Day can be found here.

(Photo credit: J. Stephen Conn, via Flickr)

Marshfield, World's Largest Round Barn near Highway 13

World’s Largest Round Barn

marshfield_roundbarnplaqueOfficially called the Central Wisconsin State Fair Round Barn, this record-holder is the focal point of the fairgrounds in Marshfield. Round barns had a “boom period” between 1880 and 1920, particularly in the Midwest, as “progressive” farming methods built of principles of industrial efficiency were being implemented. Wind resistance and better air flow inside for cooler summertime conditions were – and still are – considered two key advantage with round barns.

This “World’s Largest Round Barn” was constructed in 1916, without the use of scaffolding. Its diameter spans 150 feet and the cupola capping the barn is 70 feet off the ground.

marshfield_roundbarn03

The barn was built as a show barn and area, with stanchions capable of showcasing 250 head of cattle at a time. It has been used every year since its opening in 1916 for that purpose and also serves as the centerpiece for the Central Wisconsin State Fair. It has 88,000 shingles covering its expansive roof.

Tours of the World’s Largest Round Barn are available for $1 per person. You can arrange a tour by calling (715) 387-1261.

The Central Wisconsin State Fairgrounds are located on the southeast side of Marshfield, close to U.S. 10 and Highway 13. It is most easily accessed via Central Avenue, today’s Business 13. Highway 97 is just a mile or so to the north and Highway 80 approaches within a few miles from the south. Wildwood Zoo, Marshfield Clinic, and the Blue Heron Brewpub are also close by.

Address:
513 E. 17th Street
Marshfield, WI 54449
(715) 387-1261
Website

World's Largest Corkscrew along U.S. 2 in Hurley, Wisconsin

World’s Largest Corkscrew


Some places in Vienna, Austria and Bangkok, Thailand may beg to differ, but Hurley, Wisconsin lays claim to the World’s Largest Corkscrew. It’s located along U.S. Highway 2 just west of the Wisconsin-Michigan border by about one mile on the northern side of Hurley. It’s also just west of national northern terminus of U.S. 51 and the eastern end of Highway 77.

It’s right in front of – fittingly enough – a liquor store. The owner is apparently a corkscrew collector, with none larger than the one out front.

Corkscrew Liquor Store along U.S. 2 in Hurley, home to the World's Largest Corkscrew

World’s Largest Corkscrew (and Corkscrew Liquor Store) Address:

5619 W. U.S. Highway 2
Hurley, WI 54534
(715) 561-5645
Facebook page




World's Largest Can of Chili, Beloit

World’s Largest Can of Chili


At the busy interchange where I-39/90, I-43, and Wisconsin Highway 81 meet in Beloit just north of the Wisconsin-Illinois state line, you’ll find the “World’s Largest Can of Chili.”

The “can” is part of the large Hormel plant in Beloit, which cranks out plenty of chili and other meat products here. This is one of the storage tanks, visible from the interstate. How much chili can fit inside that “can”? Estimates are between 1,500 and 2,000 gallons – that amounts to a LOT of beans!




World's Tallest Grandfather Clock, Kewaunee

World’s Tallest Grandfather Clock


The World’s Tallest Grandfather Clock showed up as a bicentennial gift for the City of Kewaunee. Towering 36 feet above the Ahnapee State Trailhead on the north side of downtown, this (working) Colonial-style redwood grandfather clock was built by Jake Schlies and his son Rodney on behalf of Svoboda Industries, a local business, which donated it to the city in 1976.

It was moved in 1984 to the new “Top of Hill Shops” along Highway 42 north of downtown. It stood there for over three decades before the shop closed and the clock, while staying there, fell into disrepair. The building was sold in 2013; the clock was then dismantled and moved back downhill to a location on the north edge of downtown.

Parts were reconditioned and the World’s Tallest Grandfather Clock went back up in its current location on August 27, 2014. It now serves downtown with accurate time and towers above the trailhead for the Ahnapee State Trail, which runs west through the farmlands and woods of Kewaunee County on its way north towards Algoma. A pavilion and sound system were added in 2015, and now you can not only see the clock, you can hear it as it chimes every 15 minutes and has specialty music for various seasons and events.

The World’s Tallest Grandfather Clock is just north of Highway 29, at the intersection of Highway 42 and Miller Street. The Tug Ludington, a historic jail, Kewaunee’s beautiful marina and harbor with its Pierhead Lighthouse, Parallel 44 Winery, and Bruemmer Park & Zoo are all nearby.