Sumner, Missouri (population 142), prides itself on being the “Wild Goose Capital of the World.” Up to 80,000 Canada geese winter on nearby Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge, a fact commemorated by Maxie, “The World’s Largest Goose.” The statue stands 40 feet tall, weighs 5,500 pounds and has a 65-foot wingspan. It was christened at Sumner’s 1976 Goose Festival by the Goose Festival Queen with a bottle of water from the nearby Grand River.
The festival draws thousands of visitors each October. Organizers say this year’s event (Oct. 21-22) is sure to be the biggest yet, with a goose-calling contest, a gooseberry pie cook-off, a trap shoot and arm wrestling. (660-938-4667; goosefestival.com) –Keith Sutton