A Giant Eyeball on the Side of the Road in Sparta, WI
The Most Surprising Roadside Attraction
Driving along Wisconsin State Highway 21, in search of a grocery store for camping supplies, my husband and I came upon a giant eyeball on the side of the road, with a sign next to it that says, "Welcome to Sparta, Wisconsin." Of course, I HAD to pull over!
It's not every day that you come across a 30 foot, fiberglass eyeball on the side of the road, practically in the middle of nowhere! A true Wisconsite, born and raised, I expect to see things like taverns, cheese factories, and breweries...but never a giant eyeball...just when I thought I'd seen it all...I was again surprised by my beloved Dairy State.
Read on to see more photos of this great roadside attraction, with a few more surprises in store!
Unless Otherwise Noted, the Photos Below Were Taken By Me and Belong To Me; Please Ask Permission Before Using.
If You Came Upon a Large Eyeball on the Side of the Road...Would You Stop?
The Ultimate Question...
So WHY Is There a Huge Eyeball on the Side of the Road?! - I Watched This Video to Satisfy My Curiosity
After seeing this rather unexpected roadside attraction, I said to my husband, "There's gotta be SOME reason this thing is here...it has to mean something...right?" Well, curiosity got the best of me and I searched the internet for my answer...and I found it! This video actually answered all of my questions...and also gave me a lot more respect for the abnormally large eyeball on the side of the road.
Fun Facts About Sparta's "Eye"
- Tony Tasset is the artist who came up with the idea and artistry of "Eye," which is actually a replica of his own eyeball
- Tasset commissioned the F.A.S.T. Corporation in Sparta, WI to build "Eye" out of fiberglass, which needless to say, is their specialty
- The giant eyeball was displayed between July 7th and October 31st, in 2010, at Pritzker Park in Chicago
- This "glaring" piece of artwork is roughly 30 feet high, 30 feet around, and weighs 14,000 lbs
- After "Eye" debuted in Chicago, it was moved to Sparta, WI, back at the F.A.S.T. Corporation, where it sits beside Hwy 21, waiting for a new home
- F.A.S.T. Corporation = Fiberglass Animals, Shapes & Trademarks Corporation
...And There's More!
One would think the fun ends with the large eyeball at the roadside...but there's more!
The F.A.S.T. Corporation specializes in building these large fiberglass characters, animals, and statues. Many are displayed outside by the side of the road. I would guess this is partially for the public's enjoyment and I would suppose this is also a great idea for some free advertising as well!
As you can see in the picture, behind the roadside figures, there are even more behind them! Unfortunately, my husband and I didn't know we could go back and explore, but I read a blog of a woman who did, with plenty of fun pictures. Visit Domestiphobia to share in her adventure!
According to her pictures and descriptions, further back on the F.A.S.T. Corporation's property, there are old, unused figures and statues and also, what can only be described as a Statue Mold Graveyard! The company keeps their old molds from past projects, because I guess one never knows when there might be more demand for a 12 foot mouse. (In Wisconsin, this is actually very likely...we sometimes like to put large mice in front of our cheese factories.)
More Fun Info and Photos of "Eye" and the F.A.S.T. Corporation
- Roadside America: Sparta, WI - 30-Foot-Tall Eyeball
Visit reports, news, maps, directions and info on 30-Foot-Tall Eyeball in Sparta, WI.
- Blog - World's Weirdest Roadtrip
Follow Road Trippers across Southwest Wisconsin as they make their way toward Fort McCoy. They make a stop in Sparta, WI and had some fun with the local attractions.
- Gonzo tourism - Aberdeen American News
An article written by travelers and their experience visiting Sparta's F.A.S.T. Corporation.
Where IS Sparta, WI?
The small Wisconsin town of Sparta boasts a population of about 9,602 people and is located in the Southwest part of the state, near LaCrosse.
The Sparta area definitely is not lacking in neat things to see and fun activities for all ages to enjoy!
Sparta is known as the Bicycling Capital of America, as it has the first rail bed in Wisconsin to have been converted to a bike trail, which goes between Elroy and Sparta. The bike trail is 32 miles long and goes through 3 old railroad tunnels.
This area of Wisconsin has wonderful fishing and hunting opportunities and definitely no shortage of wildlife! There also are many campgrounds in the area.
I personally have visited the PIne View Campground near Fort McCoy (about 10 miles out of Sparta) for two years in a row now. The scenery is absolutely beautiful and the fishing was great! We always catch a lot of trout, whenever we visit.