I looked forward to seeing the World’s Largest Ball of Twine more than any other sight in America. Everything from the Grand Canyon to the Worlds Largest Ball of Twine – that’s how I’ve summed up my sightseeing adventures.
I visited the Ball of Twine twice. I have taken two 50-state road trips, and I saw the ever-growing ball on each trip.
There isn’t anything much in Cawker City, Kansas except the World’s Largest Ball of Twine, so I had no problem driving right up to it on the main street through town. This sucker is BIG. It’s housed in a very nice open-sided building where you can walk right up to it and smell it and touch it.
Frank Stoeber started the ball of twine on his farm in 1953. It weighed 5,000 pounds in 1957, was measured at 8-feet in height, and contained 1,175,180 feet of sisal twine. Stoeber gave the ball to Cawker City in 1961 before his death in 1974.
The last published report is that it weighed 19,973 pounds (that’s almost 10 TONS). The ball of twine had a 40-foot circumference, and it was reported to consist of over 7,009,942 feet of twine. If stretched, it would extend 1,325 MILES. Like I said, this baby is BIG.
Frank Stoeber created it, and since he died, folks bring balls of twine, and they are weighed and measured and added to the giant ball. I bought a ball of brown “sisal” twine (the only type of twine that is accepted), and I left it in the box that’s there for that purpose, so my twine is now a part of the World’s Largest Ball of Twine.
Be sure to take your own ball when you visit! It was wonderful to see that the townsfolk stepped in to build this special place for the Ball of Twine after the creator passed away.
The owner and caretaker of the Ball of Twine is now the Cawker City Community Club. A Twine-a-thon is a big annual event held in conjunction with the Cawker City Picnic and Parade. The ball never stops growing. The picnic and parade are held the third Saturday in August, and the twine winding is conducted the Friday before.
The World’s Largest Ball of Twine is easy to find in “Downtown” Cawker City right along Wisconsin Street (Highway 24) on the south side of the highway. 719 Wisconsin St, Cawker City, KS 67430. It’s half a block west of Lake Drive, but you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it (small town and a big ball).