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Alberta’s Giants of the Prairies

7. December 2012 by Lorena 0 Comments

Along the open roads of Alberta exist some of the world’s kitschiest, most whimsical tourist attractions. A number of small towns have put themselves on the map by erecting giant statues. The subject matter ranges from dinosaurs to baseball caps to giant musical instruments. A few even celebrate Ukrainian culture in Canada. Want to add a little pop-culture fun to your next Canadian road trip? Be sure to swing by:

 

Vegreville’s Giant Pysanka

Vegreville, Alberta wanted to create a monument to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. A number of suggestions were submitted, but ultimately, the Pysanka was chosen for its symbolism of peace and security.

 

Assembling an egg from flat tiles presented a mathematical dilemma. In the end, computer scientist Dr. John Ruptash from the University of Utah assisted Ukrainian-Canadian artist Paul Maxum Sembaliuk in the design of the giant pysanka. Vegreville’s Pysanka has 3,512 visible facets and weighs in at 2000 pounds. The 31 foot tall statue is mounted so that it turns in the wind like a weather vane. It’s believed to be the world’s largest Ukrainian Easter Egg.

 

 

Glendon’s Giant Pyrogy

Drive down Pyrogy Drive to Pyrogy Park to find Glendon’s giant pyrogy. The 27-foot-tall pyrogy is constructed from steel and fiberglass and weighs 6000 pounds. Glendon has one restaurant, which serves Ukrainian and Chinese pyrogies. When night falls, catch a few Zs at Glendon’s Pyrogy Hotel.

 

 

Mundare’s Ukrainian Sausage

 In 2001, the town of Mundare erected a giant kielbasa in honor of the town’s sausage factory. Stawnichy's Meat Processing has made Ukrainian sausages in Mundare for over 50 years. The statue cost $120,000 to build and can withstand winds up to 160 kilometers per hour. While you are in Mundare, be sure to stop by Uncle Ed’s Ukrainian Restaurant for authentic Ukrainian food.

 

 

 

Vilna’s Giant Mushrooms

When the first wave of Ukrainian immigrants came to Canada, they brought their love of mushrooms with them. Many Ukrainian-Canadians remember their grandmothers gathering mushrooms for the family table.

 

Vilna’s giant mushroom is 15 feet wide and 20 feet tall. The giant fungi weigh over 18,000 pounds. They were created by local tradesmen and artists in 1993. 

 

Photo: Big Things