Thursday, September 12, 2013

Let's Go on a Field Trip!

You know how you can live somewhere your whole life, and you never visit the tourist-y things right in your own back yard?  The Fred Smith Concrete Park is about an hour from here and anytime you bring up cool things to do or see in Wisconsin, this place is on the list.  Well, a couple days ago, my friend Lori and I got together and decided to go check it out.  It's free and like I said, it's kind of a Wisconsin landmark.

The Park is right along the highway and is on the same land as Fred Smith's home.  He died in 1976, but volunteers have done a good job of keeping the area looking nice and they even run a gift shop inside his old home where you can buy postcards, teeshirts, and even some artwork from local craftsmen.  There's also a studio on the property where you can take classes in things like basketweaving, quiltmaking, and mosaics.

Check out the Wandering Wisconsin Website for more information on all the unique things we have in Wisconsin.
So what is in the park?  Lots of concrete statues featuring horses, lumberjacks, dogs, cows, men, Sacajawea, the Statue of Liberty and lots more.  And they're all life sized or bigger.  Here's some pictures Lori took.

I wish you could see how big they are.  These things are massive.

We got there pretty early and were the only ones there.  It was kind of cool because there's just all these statues every where, not a lot of rhyme or reason to their placement. The animal statues are kind of charming in a definite folk art way, but don't the statues of the men kind of creep you out?  Something about their eyes are just strange.

Here's a video that I found posted on Youtube that kind of gives you a feel for the place.  There's no narration and the camera work is kind of shaky but it helps you get an idea of what it's like.

There's just something a little creepy about the place.  We were checking out the statues in a back corner of the park, when a squirrel ran through a tree overhead and I jumped.  Lori thought it was hilarious.  About halfway through, I realized what was creeping me out.  And if you're a Doctor Who fan, you may have already put your finger on it.

On the right, a nice concrete man taking your picture with his concrete camera, on the left, a weeping angel.  All I could think of was this:

Thanks Doctor Who for turning a nice piece of kitschy Wisconsin pride into a creepy place for me.  Seriously though, it was a fun place to visit and it was free.  You can't beat that.  If you're ever in the neighborhood, you have to check it out.  And if you're a Doctor Who fan, I definitely think you'll see the potential for a story being filmed there.

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