Pelican Pete

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Pelican Pete
Pelican Pete.jpg
The Pelican Pete statue and Mill Ponds dam
Coordinates46°34′12″N 96°04′55″W / 46.570°N 96.082°W / 46.570; -96.082Coordinates: 46°34′12″N 96°04′55″W / 46.570°N 96.082°W / 46.570; -96.082
LocationPelican Rapids
Materialconcrete & steel
Height15 feet 6 inches (4.72 m)
Opening date1957
Dedicated toTown visitors

Pelican Pete is a concrete statue over 15.5 feet (4.7 m) tall located in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, United States.[1] It has been referred to as "The Mother of All Pelicans" or "The Pelican Rapids Pelican".[2][3] The sculpture is a 5:1 scale model of a mounted stuffed pelican[4] which is located in the Old City Hall nearby.[5]


Minnesota is home to many giant roadside monuments. Two of the first such attractions were Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, which were built in 1936 at Bemidji. They were an inspiration behind Pelican Pete, which was built by citizens of Pelican Rapids in 1957 for the town's Jubilee Celebration the following year. Pelican Pete is made of an iron frame, plastered and painted.[6]


Pelican Pete is located in downtown Pelican Rapids, at the base of the Pelican Rapids (or Mill Ponds) dam. It can be seen from the Highway 59 bridge, near the Pelican Rapids Chamber of Commerce. The city of Pelican Rapids is located on the Pelican River, in Otter Tail County, Minnesota, and was named for the rapids which existed before the creation of the Mill Ponds dam.[7]


During fishing season, children of all ages fish for sunfish, bluefish, and Northern Pike just below the waterfalls next to Pelican Pete.[2]

Near to the Pelican Pete sculpture are some odd artifacts from previous town attractions, including a nine-foot-tall replica of the Seattle Space Needle, a dilapidated windmill, and a suspension footbridge modeled after a real one.[2]

In 2007, the fiftieth anniversary of the Pelican Pete sculpture, local businesses made a "flock of pelican sculptures" as a publicity stunt. These smaller "friends" (four foot birds) eventually wound up at various local businesses to promote Pelican Pete.[8]