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Wilkie has committee to revive roadside attraction

A design contest running until June 13 will help the roadside attraction committee create a new grasshopper for Wilkie.

WILKIE — In the middle of April, there was discussion to revamp the location near the Wilkie Saskcan Community Centre where the world’s largest grasshopper used to stand.

The history on the old grasshopper is vague. Byron Hanson created the original roadside attraction, which was made of wood and was located at the site of Trinity Lutheran Church on 2nd Avenue East before it was moved to the west side of town across from the Saskcan Community Centre. Unfortunately, over the years, the wooden structure fell into disrepair and eventually had to be dismantled.

For more than a decade the spot where the grasshopper sat was empty.

In 2019, the town of Wilkie conducted a poll regarding rebuilding the grasshopper and 73 per cent of community members who responded wanted to see it returned to its spot by the junction of Highway 14 and Highway 29.

In 2020, with the onset of the pandemic, the committee folded due to lack of members and financial resources.

The idea has resurfaced with a committee of serious individuals looking to help create a roadside attraction in Wilkie.

With one FaceBook post on All things Wilkie What, Why, When it took less than 12 hours for six individuals to come forward to form the new Wilkie Roadside Attraction Committee. Members are Helen Urlacher, Mayor David Zeigler, Shana Rushing, Theresa Parkinson, Kade Dale and Loretta and Kevin Sloboda.

These individuals have been hard at work and are ready to start getting things done. The committee expects the project is going to take a couple of years.

The Wilkie Roadside Attraction Committee have a Design the New Grasshopper for Wilkie contest. This contest is open to residents of all ages and will be asking all ages to participate.

Money for the project will come from fundraising, sponsorship and donations. All donations and funds can be dropped off at the Wilkie town office during regular business hours. The taxpayers of Wilkie can be assured that no town of Wilkie funds will be used for the construction of this roadside attraction.

The design contest runs until June 13. Entries can be taken to town office.