August 5, 2016    //    Explore Alexandria
Alexandria’s famed and beloved Viking statue Big Ole, now 51 years old, has a long history including different looks and locations. Over the past year Big Ole has undergone structural repairs and a new paint coat, adding yet another chapter to his long history. Let’s take a look back at some of the past photos and history of our giant Viking as we welcome him to his new look! A special thanks to the Douglas County Historical Society for providing some photos and history!
Built in 1965 by a fiberglass sculptor named Gordon Schumaker, Big Ole was an addition to the Minnesota display at the World’s Fair in New York. The display also featured the Kensington Runestone in an animated scene to illustrate “Minnesota, Birthplace of America.” It took a special trailer to transport the 28 foot tall/4 ton Big Ole from Minneapolis to New York, but he arrived safe in time for the World’s Fair opening on April 21, 1965. The photo below is Big Ole at the World’s Fair in New York, May 1965.