World's Largest Floating Loon
A huge loon floats in Silver Lake -- we're not hallucinating. Much.
The huge Floating Loon in Virginia, Minnesota, is caught in a sunbeam on the lake, bright against a backdrop of locust trees, wildflowers, and the belching smokestacks of an unidentified factory on the opposite shore. The circular gravel road in Olcott Park, which is the prime loon-viewing vista, is lined with cars -- but no one dares to venture outside into the gale force wind, which is frigid even on a July afternoon. Instead, they sit inside and eat their lunches and look at us. And we look at the loon.
It was first floated by the "Land of the Loon Festival Committee" in 1982 (replacing a smaller, vandalized loon built in 1979). The World's Largest Floating Loon is fiberglass over a metal frame, tethered to the bottom of the lake by a long cable, far, far out in the water, spinning and bobbing merrily in the wind-whipped waves. It's 20 feet long, although you'd never know it, because at this distance it might as well be a life-size loon.
The Loon is hauled ashore and stored in the winter months, to avoid the freeze.