Big Ole.

Big Ole - Big Viking Statue

Field review by the editors.

Alexandria, Minnesota

A symbol of Alexandria's Viking pride -- the town believes it was visited by Norsemen in 1362 -- Big Ole was built in early 1965 as a second-year addition to the 1964-65 New York Word's Fair (Fiberglass sculptor Gordon Schumaker also built the Smokey Bear in International Falls and the big Bluegill in Orr). In December, after the Fair closed, Big Ole was trucked to Alexandria, where he was erected on a traffic island on the north end of Broadway. He was an impressive sight, visible for many blocks down the wide boulevard, and at 28 feet tall he towered over most of the buildings in town.

Big Ole's conquest of Alexandria, however, was far from easy. In 1967 the town dressed him for the holidays in a Santa suit -- into which someone shot a flaming arrow that sent Ole up in flames! His sword was snapped off by another vandal, and the Viking has often had an extra piece of anatomy added between his legs.

In 1996 he was knocked cockeyed by a freak windstorm, and when he was lying prone for repairs, his leg was crushed under the collapse of a snow-covered roof.

Through it all, however, Alexandria has rallied to their Viking lord, footing the bills for his patch-ups and repaintings and celebrating his return every time.

In 2002, Alexandria moved Big Ole north a couple of blocks, and essentially out of town, to a small park on the south shore of Lake Agnes. His shield still boldly proclaims "Birthplace of America," but Big Ole has been given a less stressful spot for his middle age.

Big Ole - Big Viking Statue

Central Park

Address:
Broadway St., Alexandria, MN
Directions:
North end of Broadway St., next to the lake.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

More Quirky Attractions in Minnesota

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Minnesota.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use RoadsideAmerica.com's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

October 22, 2014

My Sights

Create Your Own Bizarre Road Trips!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

Minnesota Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

San Francisco Dungeon, San Francisco, California (Oct 20-26, 2014)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from RoadsideAmerica.com. Subscribe now!
RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special online rates for hotels & motels.

Nearby Hotels and Motels, Alexandria, Minnesota

Nightly rates found:

Find Hotels Near:

Book Online Now