Efforts are underway to construct the World’s Largest Belt Buckle, a new roadside attraction, in Abilene.
According to the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau, local artist Jason Lahr of Fluters Creek Metal Works is constructing the buckle. Lahr is also known for his work on the Abilene Cowboy at Abilene High School, Lumber House and Dickinson County Heritage Center’s signage, Little Ike Park and Iron Horse Trail entrances and other projects.
“The buckle is an absolutely beautiful piece of art, and it’s really, really big,” said Julie Roller Weeks, Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau director. “I think everyone will be impressed when it’s unveiled!”
The current World’s Largest Belt Buckle is displayed in Texas and stands 10’ 6” x 14’ 6.4”.
Weather permitting, the plan is to unveil the buckle the week of December 19. The buckle will be placed near the Grandstand at the Central Kansas Free Fairgrounds.
With the holiday season quickly approaching, the CVB is offering community champions, history lovers, cowboys and collectors a fun way to get involved and support the project.
“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. As an added bonus, their name will also be listed on the back of the real buckle,” Roller Weeks said. “Sponsoring is a fun way to show support and have your name on the big buckle for all to see.”
While the final design is being kept secret until the unveiling, the buckle features Abilene icons, including Wild Bill Hickok, C.W. Parker Carousel Horse, Vintage Telephone (representing C.L. Brown’s Untied Telephone), Dwight D. Eisenhower, Historic Seelye Mansion, Greyhound (representing Abilene as the Greyhound dog Capital of the World), Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad Steam Engine, and 1867 Chisholm Trail Longhorn.
A Kansas Tourism Attraction Development Grant is helping to fund the project.
To learn more or donate, please visit www.WorldsLargestBeltBuckle.com.