ABILENE (KSNT) – Have you ever seen the world’s largest belt buckle? If the answer is no, then just wait; Abilene will have it on display soon.
On May 19, Governor Laura Kelly announced the 11 recipients of the Kansas Tourism Attraction Development Grants, one of which was the town of Abilene which received $22,000 to create the world’s largest belt buckle.
“Tourism is the welcoming committee for new residents and businesses in our state,” Kelly said. “By continuing to develop vibrant travel destinations across Kansas, we are opening the door to more revenue and new economic growth in communities of all sizes.”
Julie Roller, the Director of the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau, spoke with 27 News on Friday about the project.
“We previously had the world’s largest spur,” Roller said. “I love quirky roadside attractions, things that are open 24 hours a day that you can social distance at… just fun and easy attractions. I’d really love for Abilene to have a ‘world’s largest’ attraction.”
Roller went on to say that the current largest belt buckle in the world is located in Dallas, Texas. Abilene will be keeping the dimensions of their buckle under wraps until it is ready to be unveiled to reduce the chances that the Texas buckle is enlarged to retain its title.
“After the last few years, we need a fun, new project,” Roller said. “I hope that in the years to come we can look back on this and say that we’re back and we’re bigger and better than ever.”
The belt buckle in Abilene is expected to feature many things unique to the town such as Wild Bill Hickock, former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Seelye Mansion and more. It will even have a spiral staircase on the back to allow visitors to pose for a photo while ‘wearing’ the buckle.
A local artist, Jason Lahr, has been commissioned to create the buckle. One of his previous accomplishments in the town includes the Abilene Cowboy which can be seen below:
Roller said that they are hoping that the project will be completed by August later this year if everything goes well.