ABILENE, Kan. (KSNT) — The town of Abilene will soon be laying claim to having the World’s Largest Belt Buckle as their project nears completion.
Julie Roller-Weeks, the Director of Abilene’s Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the new roadside attraction is the work of local artist Jason Lahr of Fluters Creek Metal Works.
Lahr is known for his work on the Abilene Cowboy at the Abilene High School, Lumber House, Dickinson County Heritage Center’s signage, Little Ike Park and Iron Horse Trail entrances.
“The buckle is an absolutely beautiful piece of art, and it’s really, really big,” said Roller-Weeks. “I think everyone will be impressed when it’s unveiled!”
Roller-Weeks said that the planned unveiling of the belt buckle will happen the week of Dec. 19, weather permitting. The buckle will be placed near the Grandstand at the Central Kansas Free Fairgrounds.
“Donors contributing $200 will receive one of only 100 numbered commemorative buckle replicas of Abilene’s World’s Largest Belt Buckle suitable for wearing or displaying,” Roller-Weeks said. “As an added bonus, their name will also be listed on the back of the real buckle. Sponsoring is a fun way to show support and have your name on the big buckle for all to see.”
The new belt buckle in Abilene will feature things on it unique to the town, such as Wild Bill Hickock, former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Seelye Mansion and more. A spiral staircase will be located on the back of the buckle to give visitors the ability to pose for a photo while ‘wearing’ the buckle.
Abilene received a grant from the Kansas Tourism Attraction Development Grants earlier this year to construct the belt buckle. In total, $22,000 was contributed by Kansas Tourism to the project. To donate or learn more about the project, click here.
The current World’s Largest Belt Buckle is on display in Texas. It stands 10’6″ x 14′ 6.4″.