“Pelican Pete” the World’s largest Pelican and the unsuccessful hunt for an otter

To break up the monotony of our journey through Minnesota I planned to try and find some strange roadside attractions. My first mission (I hadn’t shared this with Karen and the children – wanted it to be a surprise) was to find a 150ft Otter which is supposedly in a park in a town called Fergus Falls. Unfortunately, Fergus Falls was larger than expected and I couldn’t find the park and being male could not bring myself to ask for directions to a 150 ft otter. The rest of the family were getting frustrated because they obviously didn’t know what we were looking for and I played on this by refusing to tell them even as Fergus Falls fell back into the distance. This is one of the closer moments that our marriage nearly ended in a divorce!

I am not so easily deterred when it comes to important missions. So, I steered us off towards the quaintly known town of Pelican Rapids to find …. you guessed it, the world’s largest Pelican. The town is quite small but as you might expect pelicans are everywhere, not real ones of course but various shaped and sized statues of the large jowl water fowl. The river is also named after the aforementioned bird and across it is the most lovely suspension foot bridge. Just down from the bridge is large weir at the bottom of which is our prey – a 15 1/2 ft high pelican, known to the locals as “Pelican Pete”

Built in 1957, Pelican Pete, the World’s Largest Pelican stands at the base of the Mill Pond dam on the Pelican River, right in downtown Pelican Rapids. Water spews from the dam in a continuous stream, making this statue somehow more dynamic than others we’ve seen in Minnesota.

Lovely suspension bridge across the Pelican River
Pelican Pete

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