Paul & Babe up for nation’s ‘quirkiest’ landmark



The hulking concrete statues of Paul and Babe in Bemidji could be voted "best quirky statue" in the United States. John Enger/MPR News

Locals claim the behemoth concrete forms of Paul Bunyan and his blue ox Babe, built on the shore of Lake Bemidji in 1937, are the second most photographed statues in the country. Some say Mount Rushmore comes first, others insist it's the Statue of Liberty.

Soon the beefy statues could shoulder a new honor.

USA Today is holding a nation-wide vote for the best "quirky landmark." Paul and Babe are on the cyber ballot. They're up against renown road art installations like the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas and The Enchanted Highway in North Dakota. Voting is open through June 23.

Minnesota fared well in one of USA Today's previous competitions. Earlier this year, as frigid winds blasted through the city, St. Paul was voted the nation's "Best Romantic North American Getaway."

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