Darwin, Minn. celebrates Weird Al Yankovic's State Fair show with new 'Weird Alley' street sign
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (FOX 9) - The tiny town of Darwin, Minnesota already knows how to spin a good yard, but Tuesday they got to celebrate a common thread they share with the man who makes some of music’s most popular parodies.
“It’s a big thing and we’re honored to be here and take part in this,” said Darwin Mayor Josh Johnson.
In 1989, Weird Al Yankovic put Darwin’s enormous ball of yarn on the map with a song called “The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota.”
He wrote the song after reading about it in a book on roadside attractions.
It’s about a family road trip to see Francis A. Johnson’s creation, which he spent 29 years rolling and stands 12 feet tall, 40 feet around and weighs 9 tons.
“We have fans from all over the world who come and see the twin ball,” Johnson said. “The vast majority of them have heard of the song. A large percentage are Weird Al fans who get their twine ball enthusiasm from him.”
A few years later, Weird Al visited Darwin with a couple of band members to see the twine ball for himself.
In anticipation of his show at the State Fair Tuesday, the town named the dirt path next to the twin ball, “Weird Alley” in his honor.
It’s a fact Weird Al joke about in a tweet, saying it’s a sign that he has finally made it.
“He’s an artist who has universal appeal,” Johnson said. “Amazing staying power. If we can be tied to an artist, that’s the one you want to be tied to.”
About 20 volunteers at the Twine Ball Museum got to be in the crowd when Yankovic sang the song during his show at the Grandstand, but they say their love for the satirical singer isn’t weird at all.
“I think it’s awesome,” Johnson said. “I think Minnesota nice and Weird Al Yankovic will get along very well.”