LARGEST -- Freestanding banana statue in the World - Melita MB
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 49° 16.261 W 100° 59.168
14U E 355523 N 5459482
Quick Description: The world's largest freestanding banana statue in the world is located in Melita MB, the heart of Manitoba's Banana Belt, where they don't grow bananas. Those quirky Canadians! :) We love them!
Location: Manitoba, Canada
Date Posted: 1/16/2014 6:58:55 PM
Waymark Code: WMJYFM
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 8

Long Description:
The best part of the big banana is that while Melita is said to be the center of Manitoba's Banana Belt, actually no bananas are grown there - it;s still too cold. Source: (visit link)

Banana splitsville

The town of Melita, Man., with its train tracks, grain silos and winding river, serves as a picture for any small farming community on the Prairies.

FEBRUARY 18, 2008

Life revolves around a four-sheet curling rink in the winter and a hilly, picturesque nine-hole golf course in the summer. The residents, little more than 1,000 in all, live within a small cross-section of roads and nearby farmhouses. There's a hotel, a public swimming pool which is under expansion, and a bakery -- with the softest and most delectable buns ever to be whipped up from scratch.

But faced with a slowing economy and a younger generation expatriating to urban centres, Melita, found 340 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg, is considering adding a unique roadside attraction to its modest skyline: a 9.144-metre (30-foot) banana statue. . . .

The banana isn't without its supporters, and isn't as arbitrarily celebrated as it appears to be. It may seem odd for a town known for wheat fields and grassland birds, with winter temperatures commonly below -30C, to celebrate a tropical fruit.

"There has to be a reason why you put a banana up," said Doug Cameron, who supports the idea. "When I was growing up as a kid, Melita was always a little warmer, sort of like the hot spot. 'Banana belt' was an expression that was used for the area."

Andy Nader, a Manitoba agro-meteorologist, says the term "banana belt" is commonly applied to an area east of Melita, but agrees that local farmers do benefit from warmer temperatures than much of the province.

"Statistically that is warmer than the rest of the province, so they can grow stuff like -- obviously not bananas -- but warmer varieties of things like corn," he said. "Crops that you couldn't grow a couple hundred kilometres north of there."

The tourism board decided to jump on the idea . . . ." [end]

And the result of that jump? See here: (visit link)

"Big banana ups Manitoba town's 'a-peel'
CBC News Posted: Aug 03, 2010 9:57 AM CT

The town of Melita, Man., is preparing to peel back the curtain on Canada's newest oversized roadside attraction.

On Aug. 7, the community will unveil a nine-metre-tall banana holding a blue jay in its hand and wearing a championship wrestling-style belt.

The giant yellow fruit represents Melita's location in southwestern Manitoba's so-called Banana Belt, so named because of the comparatively moderate weather.

The blue jay symbolizes Melita's status as a key site for bird conservation in the province.

Melita will henceforth not only be known as the grasslands birds capital of Manitoba, "it is also a town with a-peel," the Melita and area tourism website states.

The root of the banana idea goes back to 2007, when the tourism committee began brainstorming new ideas to bring people to the area, 33 kilometres north of the United States border and 37 kilometres east of the Saskatchewan border.

Calgary-based custom manufacturing company Heavy Industries was contracted for the job, which entailed a foam-and-steel construction.

The whole thing was then coated with a weatherproof exterior.

The big banana is being loaded onto a flatbed truck Tuesday and will be installed at its permanent site in Melita later this week.

The unveiling, coinciding with Melita's annual Banana Days festival, will happen at noon Saturday at the grassy corner of Front Street and Highway 83.

Free banana splits will be given out to all those attending."

The banana's name is "Sunny" and the Blue Jay on it's arm is named "Breezy". Source: (visit link)

Blasterz LOVE Sunny and Breezy -- but unfortunately it was cloudy and cold the day we were there - 60s in August? Is that WARM for Canada? Time for Blasterz to go home to TX -- we need to thaw out!
Type of documentation of superlative status: sign at the banana

Location of coordinates: at the banana

Web Site: [Web Link]

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