Big Things in a Small Town: Casey, IL

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Having explored the bizarre world of Roadside Attractions for almost 15 years, shame on me for somehow not knowing about little ol’ Casey, IL.  A small town of just the right size (about 2,700), sitting there right on Interstate 70 just west of the Indiana border, the conditions all came together on a Saturday in November for a fascinating discovery. Casey is home to eight Guinness-certified “World’s Largest” objects, and maybe 20 other roadside attractions, most of which are found within a few blocks of the city center.  I had to see it. Continue reading

Minnesota Renaissance Festival, Shakopee, MN

DSCN1918It’s one of the biggest and oldest Renaissance Festivals in the United States, and it runs every weekend from Mid-August through the end of September.  It’s a people-watching extravangaza, a whimsical and enchanted place, where the weirdest of the weird get to geek out, judgement-free.  Much like the Minnesota State Fair, the Renaissance Festival brings in all walks of life to experience something like nowhere else.  So what’s it like? Let’s find out! Continue reading

Vision of Peace Statue, St. Paul, MN

IMG_0972The magnificent Art Deco-style St. Paul City Hall and Ramsey County Courthouse Building in downtown St. Paul is a bit of a 1930’s time capsule.  Built during the Great Depression Era when Art Deco was all the rage, the structure has changed very little to this day. The countless signature Deco stylings have all been well-preserved, and visitors who enter the courthouse from the 4th Street entrance encounter something much more fascinating on their way in: the three-story tall “Vision of Peace” statue, dramatic and visually-arresting. Continue reading

The Madness of Wisconsin Dells, from A-Z

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Have you ever been to Wisconsin Dells? Have you ever experienced the madness?  We have. Several times.  It’s chaotic. It’s quirky. It’s touristy.  It’s loud, hot, busy, fun, exciting, expensive, visually assaulting and arresting at the same time.  You want it, it’s there. And it’s all set in a beautiful natural and scenic bluff country town along the Wisconsin River.  Quaint reminders of simpler times remain, now completely dwarfed by gargantuan waterparks and rollercoasters. This week, I thought I’d do it a little differently.  Instead of a broad description of the experience and highlights, I’m going through the entire cacophony of sight and noise that is the “Dells”, A through Z. Continue reading