Road trip news, rants, and ruminations by the Editors of

« | Main | »

Behold! The $100,000 Tumbleweed

The world’s most expensive tumbleweed has been unveiled in Chandler, Arizona.

Tumbleweed sculpture.Created at a cost of $100,000, “Momentum” is perched atop a ten-foot pedestal in the city’s new Park-and-Ride lot.  Critics have quickly labeled it “rat’s nest” and “hairball.”

“I would have thought it would have been bigger,” said Jeff Weninger, the only current member of Chandler’s city counsel to vote against the sculpture when it was approved two years ago.  “You just gotta look at it and say, ‘Is that really worth $100,000, or $120,000, or however much it cost?'”

(To be fair, the artwork also includes a couple of concrete walls with patterns cut out of them.  But its main expense has always been the tumbleweed — a tribute to the Park-and-Ride’s neighbor, Tumbleweed Park.)

Chandler should have their own attraction to complement nearby Rawhide, a fake wild west town owned by the Gila Indian Reservation.  And we have no problem with a town spending $100,000 on a tumbleweed.  But we imagined something approaching the scale of the Unisphere or the proposed massive orange spiky thing in Miami, Florida. Not a shrimpy metal art thing, smaller than tumbleweeds that have hit our own cars when we’re on western highways….

“It’s nice,” said Councilman Weninger, tactfully.  “But it’s a little underwhelming.”

Sections: Attraction News, Statues 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Behold! The $100,000 Tumbleweed”

  1. Rene Says:
    February 9th, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    What a seriously pathetic use of civic funds during bad economic times. I sure wouldn’t trust these bureaucrats with MY tax dollars!

  2. autumnforest Says:
    February 10th, 2009 at 9:40 am

    I have to admit, a couple decades ago Phoenix spent 10s of thousands of $ on ugly large pottery atop the wall along the 51. It was met with great anger and someone even put a toilet up on the wall alongside the pots. We still laugh when we drive by there. Why not just get art students to do it for free and pay for the supplies?

  3. Karen Says:
    February 11th, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    I think a ‘no more monuments on city property’ would be good. Just let homeowners build them if they want to remember something or someone. A lot cheaper!

  4. Kris Says:
    February 26th, 2009 at 10:09 am

    It seems pretty kool i’m planning a trip to it

Recent Posts


December 2, 2023

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Save Cool Vacation Destinations! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Pizza Hut Museum, Wichita, Kansas (Nov 27-Dec 3, 2023)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings