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Minnesota Twine Ball, Darwin

#456 of 1,267 in Things to do in Minnesota
Landmark · Tourist Spot
There are multiple claims to the world's biggest ball of twine record in the United States. As of 2014, the ball of twine with the largest circumference is located in Cawker City, Kansas.
In Cawker City, Kansas, Frank Stoeber created a ball that had 1.6 million feet (490,000 m) of twine and 11ft when he died in 1974. Cawker City built an open-air gazebo over Stoeber's ball where every August a "Twine-a-thon" is held and more twine is added to the ball. By 2006, the twine ball had reached 17,886 pounds (8,111 kg, 8.9 US tons), a circumference of 40ft, and a length of 7,801,766 feet (2,377,978 m). In 2013, its weight was estimated at 19,973 pounds. In August 2014, the ball measures 41.42ft in circumference, 8.06ft in diameter and 10.83ft in height, and it still growing.
Darwin, Minnesota, is the home of a ball of baler twine rolled by Francis A. Johnson. It is 12ft in diameter and weighs 17,400lb. Johnson began rolling the twine in March 1950, and wrapped four hours every day for 29 years. It is currently housed in an enclosed gazebo across from the town park on Main Street at to prevent the public from touching it. The town celebrates "Twine Ball Day" on the second Saturday in August every year. An adjacent volunteer-run, free to visit museum and gift shop has information on the history of the ball, as well as selling a variety of souvenirs. It was the long-standing holder of the "biggest ball of twine" title in the Guinness Book of World Records, holding the title from its completion in 1979 until 1994, and was referenced by "Weird Al" Yankovic in his 1989 song "The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota."
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  • Francis Johnson started rolling scrap twine from his family farm and nearby neighbors. Each piece is connected by a square knot. Roadside attraction while passing through the area. There is a small...  more »
  • Plenty of parking along the street. The Twine Ball is always on display in a glass enclosure out in front of the gift shop. You can see the ball pretty well although there is a good reflection off.....  more »
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