March 19, 2003


Local attractions added to traveling roadside show

Kingsburg and Selma can now add another distinction to their list of feats.

Both have attractions that have been added to a traveling roadside show.

According to Erika Nelson, curator and owner of the "World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things Traveling Roadside Attraction and Museum," the display of photographs is an interactive mobile environment devoted to the exploration and celebration of the World's Largest Things.

Kingsburg has the distinction of housing one of the "World's Largest Swedish Coffee Pots," and Sun-Maid Growers in Kingsburg has the distinction of owning the "World's Largest Box of Raisins."

Nelson said that her one-of-a-kind roadside attraction and museum officially opened March 1 in California as part of its 2003 national tour.

Nelson's interest in "World's Largests" began as a child, after her parents took her to see the World's Largest Paul Bun-yon and Babe the Blue Ox in Minnesota. She said that after that, every time they would pass a "world's largest" along the road, she'd want to stop. Thus began her life-long interest.

"When I was old enough and started planning my own trips, I'd always make sure to stop at the roadside attractions," said Nelson. Her interest in recreating the attractions as miniatures started after she visited the gift shop for the World's Largest Ball of Twine and saw the miniature they were selling.

She thought to herself, "This could be done better and not only could it be done better, but I could do it better myself."

Nelson said that she hears about the attractions from several places, but mostly hears tips from word-of-mouth.

She said that she's covered the Midwest pretty well, but still wants to cover the rest of the West and several eastern states.

"The problem is often that places that have 'World's Largest' attractions, don't keep them up or sell the business and the new owners don't keep the attractions, so you get to a place that formerly housed a world's largest, only to find out that now it's gone," she said.

For the western part of her trip she started in Arizona and came up through California to Lindsay, where she'd heard the world's largest olive was located.

Nelson said that she hadn't originally intended to stop in Kingsburg, but that while in Lindsay, she talked to several people who told her that if she was going to come this way she had to stop in Kingsburg to see the coffee pot water tower and Sun-Maid's giant box of raisins. "Attractions like these just build on themselves," said Nelson.

Nelson proclaims herself a visionary artist, educator and one of America's foremost experts and speakers on the World's Largest Things.

She said that she has exhibited her work of photographs nationwide and in collections worldwide.`

(March 19, 2003 Newspaper Publication)


 | Home | | Store | | Press | | About Us | | Worlds Largest Things |


copyright and trademark ERNCO and Worlds Largest Things