Wacky roadside attractions are fun and make us wonder why the heck someone would create such silly things. But they give us pause and childlike belly laughs and get us back on the road with a renewed enthusiasm for travel. We heard about the World’s Largest Fork in Springfield, MO on a road trip and made time to check it out. And there’s a similar discovery less than an hour away in Branson, MO.
Nothing puts a smile on our road-trip faces quite like stopping to see wacky roadside attractions. When I’m driving with the kids, I always set a loose schedule so we have time for spontaneous stops if we find something neat along the way.
We were able to make great, refreshing stops to see Big Brutus in Mineral, KS and Superman and the Super Museum in Metropolis, IL because we built in extra time on the road.
It also helps to break up long car rides and renew our enthusiasm as we travel.
On one of our usual 1,500 mile treks between Tennessee and Kansas to visit family, we stopped mid-way for a rest break near Springfield, MO. I asked around about unusual attractions nearby, and I was told that Springfield lays claim to the World’s Largest Fork. So that was a no-brainer; we had to stop and see it.
Where is The World’s Largest Fork?
I set the GPS to take us to the address listed, 2215 West Chesterfield Boulevard in Springfield and away we went.
The GPS didn’t take us immediately to it, but I knew we were in the vicinity, so I said “Where is it?” and we all started looking. We had missed it because we started driving into a residential neighborhood just past the address in Chesterfield Village. But it couldn’t be that hard to find, right? It’s the World’s Largest Fork and it’s 3 stories high.
I saw the tip of the fork in my side view mirror so we turned around. It is slightly hidden from the road by a few office buildings that are taller than the fork.
Our eyes lit up when we saw it and we all laughed. “Whoa, that is awesome!” they said and we all got out of the car to take a picture with it. It’s unique and random and it was fun to see.
Where Did the Fork Come From?
I was really intrigued to know why there is a random fork in the middle of a few office buildings, so I did a little digging and contacted the creators of the fork to find out more about it.
The fork sits in front of the entrance to The Food Channel and Noble and Associates, a marketing agency that created it as an attraction for a past restaurant, Greenhouse Market. After the restaurant closed, the fork was moved to the office location as an indication of what they do in the culinary center at The Food Channel.
What is the Fork Made Of?
The fork is made of polished stainless steel and was crafted in 1997 by a stainless steel company in Mt. Vernon, MO. It took one month to construct from design to finish. The fork was designed by Bob Noble, the chairman of Noble and Associates, who also owned the restaurant it was created for.
It stands 35 feet high and weighs 11 tons, and when in season, the base of the fork is surrounded by sweet potato plants that look like salad. It is secured with underground concrete mounting.
Do Tourists Disturb the Work Day?
It is a popular tourist attraction and employees enjoy watching people take photos from their office windows, and a few have even come outside to assist in taking photos. They also like to incorporate current events with the fork.
One of their most exciting days came from taking advantage of the Pokemon Go craze. The fork was listed as a Poke stop, so the chefs from The Food Channel made cookies shaped and decorated like Pokeballs and people were encouraged to stop by and enjoy a cookie while hunting Pokemon.
They handed out a few hundred cookies within just a few hours and did a Facebook live promotion from the iconic fork.
A few other fork visitors of note: The World’s Largest Potato, Disney’s Phineas and Ferb Road Show, and the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.
What Else is There to Do at the Fork?
There isn’t much else to do when visiting the World’s Largest Fork on an ordinary day, but it sure makes for cool pictures and a nice breather on a long road trip!
There is no special prep needed or a lot of walking involved. It’s free to see and there is a small parking lot next to it. You just hop out of the car, snap a few pictures, have a few laughs and go.
Is There Another Giant Fork Near Springfield?
Missouri is home to another iconic fork. Less than an hour away from Springfield in Branson, MO Pasghetti’s Italian Restaurant features the World’s Largest Fork and Meatball outside the restaurant. You can walk through the 16 foot meatball (that’s attached to the 50 foot tall fork) into the building and a prominent green pepper and tomato are also featured on the exterior of the restaurant.
The inside of the restaurant is designed to look like the streets of New York, and there is a small ferris wheel and game room for kids. So you’ll have everything you need to reset and get back on the road for some much-needed quiet time.