Wabamun’s Giant Dragonfly

In a small Hamlet in North-central Alberta there sits World’s Largest Dragonfly. That hamlet is Wabamun, which sits on the shores of one of Alberta’s most popular lakes. This structure became the unofficial mascot of Wabamun and fit in nicely with the Annual Dragonfly Festival, which used to be held in June.

The abdomen is a 490-litre propane tank welded to a light post, staggered wings borrowed from scrapped airplanes span nearly 10 metres, and the insect’s one-metre-diameter eyes are cut and fitted from another tank.

It has been estimated that if this dragonfly was alive and able to fly its top speed would be nearly 100 kilometres an hour or the speed limit on most of Alberta’s highways. That would be a truly terrifying sight to see.

The sculpture finds a spot on the list of more than 60 “world’s biggest” structures in Alberta communities, including Vegreville’s pysanka Easter egg, Dewberry’s gargantuan Chuckwagon and Glendon’s stupendous perogy. The roadside attractions generate tourist traffic and help trigger memories of out-of-the-way places.

Wabamun’ Giant Dragonfly

Envisioned and fabricated by Frank Phaneuf and painted by James MacKay, it was installed in Wabamun in 2009 by Premay Equipment Ltd. The giant dragonfly stole the title of the World’s Largest from another man-made dragonfly that resides in Ottertail, Minnesota. The Ottertail dragonfly has wheels and a hitch, so it retains the title of the World’s largest portable dragonfly.

Next time you are driving around this beautiful province in search of something cool to look at stop in Wabamun and take a selfie with the World’s Largest Dragonfly, in my opinion, it is worth the detour.

You can check out my short video of the Dragonfly by clicking here and see the Hamlet of Wabamun video by clicking here.

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