4 Kitschy Roadside Attractions to Check Out

By Nat Wexler | Photos by Holly Leitner and Gabrielle Gasser (labeled)

As you’re driving through Walworth County to admire the foliage and architecture this autumn, you might spot (or seek out) some fun, kitschy roadside attractions along the way. Here are a few of our favorites.


Fontana C. Frog is Fontana’s unofficial mascot. The massive 14-foot frog has welcomed visitors to Fontana for over 55 years, when it was built as part of a miniature golf course. Today, the frog is lovingly maintained by the owners of Nick’s Upholstery and Lake Home Living next door, where you can purchase souvenirs commemorating your visit.


Delavan has a fascinating circus history dating back to 1847 when it began serving as the winter haven for the Mabie Brothers’ circus. Eventually, 26 different circus companies would call the area home, earning it the nickname “Circus Capital of the World.” This history is commemorated with a downtown mural and three massive circus statues in Tower Park: a clown, a giraffe and Romeo the Elephant, remembered today for his murderous rampages that killed five of his handlers.


The Walworth County Fair dates to 1849 and remains the largest county fair in the state in terms of participation and attendance. With over 1,500 registered exhibitors, the Walworth County Fair exceeds even the Wisconsin State Fair in terms of livestock and agriculture exhibits. To commemorate this achievement, the sign at the entrance to the Fairgrounds is surrounded by statues of cute farm animals, providing a kitschy photo op to road trippers.


Andy Gump was a wildly popular character in “The Gumps,” an early 20th-century comic strip drawn by Sidney Smith, a cartoonist. Smith spent his summers in Lake Geneva, owning two different houses on the lake from 1922 to 1935. As a gift to commemorate the national success of Smith’s comic strip, his editors at the Tribune sent a statue of Andy Gump to Smith’s Lake Geneva property. The figure was relocated to Lake Geneva’s Flat Iron Park after Smith died in a car accident in 1935, and it has since become a Lake Geneva icon. The current statue is a replica; the original was destroyed by vandalism in the 1960s.

Author: atthelake

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