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A Giant Eyeball on the Side of the Road in Sparta, WI

Updated on October 26, 2014
Eyeball on the side of the road in Sparta, WI
Eyeball on the side of the road in Sparta, WI | Source

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...

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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 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"

"Eye" Found in Sparta, WI
"Eye" Found in Sparta, WI | Source
  • 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!

More Statues Outside the F.A.S.T. Corporation
More Statues Outside the F.A.S.T. Corporation | Source

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.)

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.

A marker -
Sparta, WI
get directions

Pine View Campground Fort McCoy, WI
Pine View Campground Fort McCoy, WI | Source

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.

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    • Aladdins Cave profile image

      Aladdins Cave 4 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Wish I had a Eye Ball for my Crazy Roadside Attractions Lens.

      Very good.

      Thanks and Cheers from DOWNUNDER

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      The place become remarkable because of these gigantic eyeball.

    • profile image

      mina009 4 years ago

      Impressing eyeball!

    • EpicEra profile image

      EpicEra 4 years ago

      What a neat city idol :)

    • profile image

      SamanthaHaupt 4 years ago

      What a weird, but interesting, thing! Nice lens!

    • JenwithMisty profile image

      Jen withFlash 4 years ago

      I can't believe that on all my trips to Eau Claire, I never stopped here!! I didn't know it existed but next time I head up there, I'm definitely going to take a detour into Sparta!

    • profile image

      JaspinderKaur 4 years ago

      Thanx for sharing.

    • LeslieMirror profile image

      LeslieMirror 4 years ago

      The idea is crazy, but rather capturing! =) But it has quite risky location, as drivers will definitely pay attention to it! =)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I'm from Sparta, WI and drove by that eyeball almost everyday on my way to school. It's definitely something to see if you're in the neighborhood. While you're there walk around and look at the other sculptures and molds at FAST Corp. They are very detailed and well done.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this story and location. :)

    • BunnyFabulous profile image

      BunnyFabulous 4 years ago from Central Florida

      I've seen the eyeball in person! It is really weird to see such a big eye looking at you as you drive by. You definitely made a fun lens about it.

    • Blonde Blythe profile image

      Blonde Blythe 4 years ago from U.S.A.

      What a fun attraction! Enjoyed this lens!

    • MrAusAdventure profile image

      Bill 4 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      I spy with my little eye....a huge EYE! Very cool indeed! I once visited Wisconsin, but definitely saw nothing as strange as that!

    • susansweaters profile image

      susansweaters 4 years ago

      very interesting! I've seen a few crazy things by the side of the road when traveling.

    • GregoryMoore profile image

      Gregory Moore 4 years ago from Louisville, KY

      If I ever find myself in Wisconsin again, I am gonna have to stop by for a picture. What a very well done 'wierd' lens!

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 4 years ago from Connecticut

      You've just gotta admire the creativity of some people, especially those with the drive to bring their imaginations to life!

    • kristalulabelle profile image

      Kristen 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      @AcornOakForest: Sounds like it's time for a roadtrip! :)

    • kristalulabelle profile image

      Kristen 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      @anonymous: Sparta, WI is just a sleepy little WI town. No major crime to speak of, that I could see, and the people are all very friendly. If there is a neighborhood watch, I think it would be only appropriate for them to hold their meetings next to the eyeball that stands watch on the edge of town, don't you? :)

    • hazeltos profile image

      Susan Hazelton 4 years ago from Summerfield, Florida

      How interesting. I would definitely stop if I saw a giant eye by the side of the road. Who could resist?

    • profile image

      Torrs13 4 years ago

      That's definitely interesting! I've driven through a lot of states and I see the most random things!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      So how are the people there? Is it the neighborhood watch?

      Hope there isn't a lot of crime.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      I've driven around Wisconsin quite a bit, but somehow missed seeing the gigantic eyeball. My loss. Would have been a fun experience. Congrats on your feature.

    • Mary Stephenson profile image

      Mary Stephenson 4 years ago from California

      The eyeball is freaky, but large animals would be fun to see.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      It's really strange, but you kind of like it. :) Congrats for making the front page.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      Fantastic! Thank you for publishing this lens. I'll add that we have some weird stuff here in California, but I'm sure you knew that.

    • profile image

      lmoser 4 years ago

      It's very weird indeed!

    • profile image

      justintorres123 4 years ago

      Freaky but cool! xD

    • DreyaB profile image

      DreyaB 4 years ago from France

      I think that's amazing! It reminds me of the Squidoo eye...

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      Like the story, but the eyeball's not my kind of thing.

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 4 years ago from Kent, UK

      I don't think an eyeball would entice me to stop but the other shapes might!

    • AcornOakForest profile image

      Monica Lobenstein 4 years ago from Western Wisconsin

      I don't live very far from there and I haven't seen the eyeball. Very fun!

    • Kim Milai profile image

      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      I LOVE that big giant eyeball!

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 4 years ago from Europe

      I love America's weird and wonderful roadside attractions, I always stop and gawp.

    • profile image

      DebW07 4 years ago

      Wow! I would really like to see that big eye up-close. Interesting lens!

    • Arod17 profile image

      Arod17 4 years ago

      Cool Lens