For a loon that was to be a boon, a sad tune in Park Rapids

It was on this date in 1961 that the loon was adopted as the official state bird, and to mark the occasion we have sad news: there will be no gigantic loon in Park Rapids, Minn.

That’s the sort of thing that could have put Park Rapids on the map. But the planning commission learned this week that artist and developer, Arch Simonson, has pulled the plug on the project, basically because people love gigantic loons so much they could get hit by a car.

It was to be placed at the intersection of U.S. 71 and Minnesota Highway 34, the Park Rapids Enterprise reports, but Simonson determined that in order to get a good picture of it, people would have to keep backing up until they were in traffic.

The 24-foot loon, made of stainless steel and copper, is already built. The project would have required taking nearby property, but Simonson reportedly was unable to come to an agreement on a purchase price for the property.

“In our estimation, this marks a sad end to the idea for Park Rapids,” said city planner Andrew Mack.

The loon was originally going to go on the land around a private home on Pelican, but it ran into a snag with zoning.