Giant St. Urho Grasshopper.

Giant St. Urho Grasshopper

Field review by the editors.

Kaleva, Michigan

A metal grasshopper in Michigan's mitten, 18 feet long with legs 10 feet high, puts to rest the myth that Finnish-American St. Urho tributes can only be found in Minnesota. St. Urho supposedly saved Finland from plague of similarly giant grasshoppers, but this one, according to local tradition, got away and landed in Kaleva. It has now been anchored to the ground so it can't ravage the local grape crop.

Giant St. Urho Grasshopper.

A plaque next to the grasshopper names it, "The Farmer's Nightmare," and links it to the legendary Finnish saint.

The grasshopper was dedicated on March 16, 2000, (St. Urho's Day) and stands on Kaleva's Centennial Sculpture Walkway. It was designed by local intermediate and high school students under the direction of Andy Priest, a welder and metal artist. The plaque notes that its proportions are "exact," and that it was built using rusty metal junk found by the kids. The grasshopper's eyes are wheel rotors, its face is an old barbecue grill.

Other artworks along the walkway, by other artists, include a Finnish totem pole and a Viking ship made of 2,660 wire coat hangers.

Also see: St. Urho: Grasshopper Vanquisher

Giant St. Urho Grasshopper

Address:
Walta St., Kaleva, MI
Directions:
West edge of town. From 9 Mile Rd turn north onto Walta St. Drive two blocks. The grasshopper is on the west side, just north of Sampo Ave.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Bottle HouseBottle House, Kaleva, MI - < 1 mi.
Yellow DinosaursYellow Dinosaurs, Bear Lake, MI - 9 mi.
Gravity Hill - Church MagnetGravity Hill - Church Magnet, Malcolm, MI - 13 mi.
In the region:
Lakeside Lion, Manistee, MI - 18 mi.

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