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Day Trippin’: The small Illinois town that’s got 8 of the “World’s Largest” items

CASEY, ILLINOIS  --  One small town in Illinois is revitalizing it's economy In a big way. Just off Illinois highway 49 is a small sign for Casey, Illinois. It's about an hour south of Springfield, Illinois. The population reads 3,000.

But, this small town does everything big. It's home to the world's largest wind chime.

"Our longest tube is 42 foot," said Big Things architect Jim Bolin. "The height of the wind chime is 54 feet. I love wind chimes. They remind me of my childhood memories and going to my grandmothers house."

Bolin was born and raised in Casey. It was the early 2000's when he saw the decline of small town america happening in his own backyard.

He knew he had to do something to save his hometown and that's when a light bulb went off.

"You gotta think outside of the box," Bolin said.

He owns a pipeline company, so he wasn't shy of materials when it came to building the chimes.

"It wasn't difficult to engineer out," he said.

After two years and using all recycled material, the Casey chimes went up.

"It was just gonna be a wind chime, a tea shop, and that was it," Bolin said. "I thought I was done."

He wasn't done though. His town was turning into a tourist attraction.

"You would drive through town and see license plates from two or three different states."

So he constructed more. Knitting needles, crochet hook, wooden shoes, a rocking chair, a golf tee, mail box, and a pitchfork.  All "world's largest" because they are officially stamped by the Guinness World Record Book.

"I try to build something to help a shop or business," Bolin said. "It got them excited about their town again."

To hold the Guinness World Record there is a catch.

"It has to function as a mailbox to be in Guinness," Bolin said. "You have to be able to send and receive mail."

"We thought we were going to stop and see the big wind chime and then be gone, but we have ended up being in town for a few hours to see everything," Wendy Perry from Keller, Texas said.

Casey doesn't just have eight of the worlds largest items, it also just had fun big things.

"The thing that most people love is the bird cage," Bolin said. "It's not a Guinness World record. Its just a big thing in a small town."

"We were kinda laughing about it, but its really really cool stuff," Perry said.

"If someone beats the record then that's okay, because it will still be big things, small town," Bolin said.

In September, Guinness Book of World Records will be coming to Casey, Illinois to measure six new items for world's largest. If the measurements win, Casey will hold 14 world records.

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