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Feb '13

Lumberjack Lore: Minnesota vs. Maine Bragging Rights

Welcome to Bangor, home to the University of Maine, Stephen King novels and Paul Bunyan.

SUBMITTED BY: Erik Paulsen  LOCATION: Bangor, Maine (1995)

The lumberjacks of northern and central Maine claim that legendary giant Paul Bunyan was born there.

The lumberjacks of Minnesota claim the Land of 10,000 Lakes as Bunyan’s birthplace.

Who’s right? Who cares. The more kitschy Paul Bunyan statues in the world, the better.

Bemidji, Minnesota has a rival Bunyan (with Babe the Blue Ox) overlooking the Mississippi River.

Here are the stats:


Minnesota: 18 feet
Maine: 31 feet


Minnesota: 5000 lbs
Maine: 3,700 lbs

Date of Construction:

Minnesota: 1937
Maine: 1959


Minnesota: Wood and Steel
Maine: Fiberglass

Number of Paul Bunyan Petting Zoos:

Minnesota: 1
Maine: 0

Winner: The Bunyan Zoo pushes Minnesota’s roadside attraction over the edge.

(According to their Chamber of Commerce, Kodak once recognized the Minnesota statue as the second most photographed icon in America. But that was way before the Apple Store.)

May '14

You’d Have to be NUTS Not to Love This Photo

Perry's Nut House in Belfast, Maine

SUBMITTED BY: Barrie and Ilya Mirman   LOCATION: Belfast, Maine (2014)

This nutcracker looks like a lobster, from the hue to the anatomy of the tail and claws. It even looks like the artist ran out of paint.

But this “Head in the Hole” sign board photo-op at Perry’s Nut House gets an A+ for concept.

You know who else earns an A+?

Tacky Tourist Photos co-founder Ilya Mirman for his heartfelt character acting.

(When he is not eating cashews, photographer Ilya Mirman likes to crash Vietnamese weddings.)

Feb '12

Family Bonding With Boulders

Bubble Rock in Acadia National Park in Maine

SUBMITTED BY: Jerry Monkman  LOCATION: Acadia National Park, Maine (2011)

It’s so true: Families who push boulders off cliffs together, stay together.

This Road Runner-Wile E. Coyote photo-op is on the Bubble Rock hiking trail near Jordan Pond.

(Nature photographer Jerry Monkman is the author of “The AMC Guide to Outdoor Digital Photography.”)


Dec '10

Mashed by Potato

Ari is the Atlas of the Produce World.

SUBMITTED BY: Ari G.   LOCATION: O’Leary, Prince Edward Island (Canada — 2009)

It’s only a matter of time before this courageous kid’s triceps give out and he gets crushed by the potato!

The World’s Largest Potato is at the Potato Museum in Western PEI. It is far superior to any Idaho or Maine potato exhibits, a fact that Americans should be ashamed of.

The PEI Potato Museum sells burlap sacks in the gift shop and potato candy at the snack bar.

The fiberglass potato, generously funded by the O’Leary Chamber of Commerce, also provides the classic “holding the giant thing” pose.

This cute Canadian couple tries to line up the perfect Tacky Tourist Photo at the World's Largest Potato.

(If you can’t get enough of spuds memorabilia, check out how the PEI Potato Museum cleverly displays potato diseases. Cute little coffins are involved!)

Sep '10

The whole world in my hands

Eartha, the World's Largest Rotating Globe sits in Yarmouth, Maine, in the lobby of the DeLorme Map Company.

SUBMITTED BY: Matt and Traci Suppa   LOCATION: Yarmouth, Maine (2010)

Not wanting to play favorites with any one continent, Matt chooses a random stretch of ocean to rest on his shoulders.

You have to give the DeLorme Map Company credit: They didn’t skimp on their Guinness Book of World Records office decor!

Source: DeLorme.com

(Traci and Matt Suppa plan their family vacations around America’s superlative tourist traps. Read about their adventures at “Go Big or Go Home.”)

May '10

Don’t tread on me

LL Bean Giant Boot-x,jpg

SUBMITTED BY: Barrie Mirman and Christos
LOCATION: L.L. Bean World Headquarters, Freeport, Maine (2010)

Before they even had a chance to try on a pair of flannel-lined jeans, Christos and Barrie were crushed like yuppie bugs….

LL Bean Giant Boot (2)x

Apr '10

George Clooney’s Insomniac Bride


Amy Ferris, the witty and irreverent author of “Marrying George Clooney: Confessions of a Midlife Crisis,” strives to “encourage women to fulfill their greatness: to be bold, audacious, extraordinary and beautiful.”

She’s also an enthusiastic fan of Tacky Tourist Photos, which we happen to believe are also bold, audacious, extraordinary and beautiful.

We’re delighted to have landed this exclusive interview with Amy, getting her insights on the universal George Clooney wedding fantasy and how it plays itself out at America’s most popular wax museums. Ironically, when we first contacted the author, she was not aware of the Madame Tussaud’s photo-op.


Q: So you had NO idea there was a wax wedding opportunity for Clooney fans in Vegas?  What do you think of the concept?  Does this “make-believe” moment help fulfill the marriage fantasy in any way?

No, I had no idea —  and I love this.  It’s a fabulous concept and I think there should be a “What is your George Clooney fantasy?” contest, and book give-aways and tie-ins, and an Italian vacation thrown in.

Clooney is just so frickin’ sexy, and folks wanna stand next to him … even in a pretend world. He’s Cary Grant. He’s sexy and charismatic and suave. He’s like old-time Hollywood with a little added kick.

Q: What do you think about all these different poses?  That both women and men put on the dress, that people joked about multiple brides, jealousy and George being left out in the cold by two brides?

I think it’s very Big Love-ish, and clearly he gets off on it, and I think he’s one lucky guy.

Q: What’s your favorite pose in the slideshow and why?

The two women kissing.  I love that he’s standing there, ALL IN WAX (sexy), and two beautiful women are kissing, and holding a bottle of champagne to his mouth and it’s funny and surreal, and he seems so Clooney-like, so aloof.

Q: Other locations of the Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum have a dinner table scene where you can sit across the table from George and share a romantic date or perhaps receive your engagement ring. How would you rate this photo-op compared to the wedding scene?

I like it. I think everyone should have at least one date before they get married.

A romantic Clooney encounter at the Washington D.C. branch of Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum  (Photo courtesy of Beth Eisenberg).

A romantic Clooney encounter at the Washington D.C. branch of Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. (Photo courtesy of Beth Eisenberg).

Q: What is your George Clooney fantasy and how does it tie into your book?

I don’t want to give it away. I think you should read the book.

Q:  Why do you think George Clooney gets all this “Sexiest Man Alive” attention year after year?  Is there some underrated actor who you think might be even sexier?

Oh, God, I think that:  a.) He deserves it; and b.) Possibly other eligible actors are in either drug or alcohol rehab, or jail.  Although I have to say, I love Robert Downey Jr.  I think he’s sexy.

Q: So, why do you think he has remained a permanent bachelor?

I think ummmm… maybe…ummm…. you know, well…  Actually, you never really truly know people. Look at Jesse James and Sandra Bullock. Really. Did we ever suspect that he would be a scumbag?  Not me.

So, with George… yeah, maybe, he’s you know … filled with gaiety and joy.

Q: We’re not asking you to spoil the surprise, but can you please tell us a little about your George Clooney fantasy?

Okay, a tease… George and I get married, have a child we name “Dolores Claiborne Clooney” and then I fall into a coma …

And, Boy George writes a song for me, “Coma Coma Coma Girl,” and Time Magazine names me “Vegetative Person of The Year.”  But you gotta read the book. And then spread the word. Please & Thank You.

(You can read more of Amy Ferris’s late-night, menopause-inspired thoughts at her Marrying George Clooney blog).

Oct '09

Is it really necessary to use sexual innuendo to market a pumpkin festival?

The provocatively named 2007 World Champion Pumpkin Chunker team flashed its stuff at Maine's Damariscotta Pumpkinfest

The provocatively named 2007 World Champion Pumpkin Chunker team flashed its stuff at Maine's Damariscotta Pumpkinfest

SUBMITTED BY: Kerry Byrne   LOCATION: Damariscotta, Maine (2009)

Shocker: Sex sells. Even at a Rated-G agricultural fair.

The 1999 and 2007 World Champion Pumpkin Chunkers have been marketing their amazing pumpkin cannon with this slogan for a while — and they’re making a killing on t-shirts.

Imagine the other products they could introduce under the brand…

(Kerry Byrne is founder and editor of ColdHardFootballFacts.com, the most irreverent pigskin fan site in the universe.)

Aug '09

You are what you eat: Be the chocolate banana

NUTRITION FACT: Chocolate-covered frozen bananas are rich in potassium!

NUTRITION FACT: Chocolate-covered bananas are rich in potassium!

SUBMITTED BY: Pam O’Meara   LOCATION: York Beach, Maine (2009)

Somebody call Ralph Nader.

This is one of the most insidious examples of product placement imaginable. Mere steps away from the frozen banana bicycle cart at York’s Wild Kingdom Zoo is an invitation for children to fantasize about being smothered in chocolate and rainbow ice cream sprinkles.

Forget about Nader, somebody call Sigmund Freud.

For the record, Pam refused to cave into the marketing propaganda. Young Stephen and Sarah have to eat bananas the old-fashioned way. Straight from the peel.

This photo-op also reminds us of the 1960s Batman episode in which Mr. Freeze attempts to turn the Dynamic Duo into human snow cones!

(Pam O’Meara is a responsible parent who also rations her children’s consumption of chocolate-covered broccoli. )