Famous state tourist stop growing

Nearly one year after breaking records on Kickstarter, Gary Greff and his Enchanted Highway are nearing an addition to the collection of metal sculptures.

The early frame work and some exterior pieces have been assembled for the latest Enchanted Highway sculpture. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Record)
The early form of the sculpture is currently sitting beside the Enchanted Castle restaurant. Greff hopes to have it done by this winter so he can start on the dragon. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Record)

By COLE BENZ
Record Editor | cbenz@countrymedia.net

Nearly one year after breaking records on Kickstarter, Gary Greff and his Enchanted Highway are nearing an addition to the collection of metal sculptures.

Greff was assisted by Jackson Ridl (then an intern with Emerging Prairie of Fargo) who helped get the crowdfunding campaign off the ground. Crowdfunding is a method of raising money through a large amount of people, usually over the internet. Kickstarter is just one company that hosts crowdfunding campaigns, with donors—called Backers—getting something in return for their money.

After accumulating 411 backers—the most in the history of North Dakota campaigns with Kickstarter—the campaign surpassed their initial goal of $15,000. The total amount raised last July and August was $20,793, which was the second largest amount raised by a North Dakota campaign at the time.

When the campaign began on July 8, 2015, Greff posted a rough sketch of what was to be the next sculpture, a 70-foot by 70-foot spider web. But plans have changed.

The early frame work and some exterior pieces have been assembled for the latest Enchanted Highway sculpture. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Record)
The early frame work and some exterior pieces have been assembled for the latest Enchanted Highway sculpture. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Record)

A hurdle Greff was going to have to jump over was finding a piece of land for the spider web to rest. One year later, he still couldn’t find real estate.

But the people advising Greff said that he had to do something.

“Basically we got [some] money raised, [but] I haven’t been able to find any land,” Greff said. “Talking to people that ran the Kickstarter campaign…you want to get something done, you can’t just leave it sit.”

So he had suggested to the advisors a different sculpture, this one located where the Enchanted Highway begins, at the Enchanted Castle in Regent.

Everyone thought that would be a good idea, so Greff went to work.

“They want to know their money went somewhere,” Greff said.

The new metal art will feature a knight and a dragon. The knight will stand 35-feet tall while the dragon’s neck will stand nearly 45-feet tall. This sculpture will be a little different from the rest in the collection, in that it will be somewhat interactive.

The knight will be suited up with a sound system, and words or phrases will be recorded for playback, as if the knight was speaking. Greff envisions the knight saying ‘welcome to the Enchanted Castle,’ or something along those lines. But the dragon will be the big show stopper, Greff wants it to actually spit flames out of its mouth.

“We want to have him breathing fire and we want to have his eyes light up,” he said.

Greff said they are stretching the $20,000 as far as it can go, but he is looking into future fundraising efforts. Greff previously told The Herald that some of the sculptures can cost up to $60,000 to complete.

Right now the framework for the knight is finished, and Greff is currently working on welding together the body parts. He expects to finish the knight before winter, when he can start working on the dragon. When it’s all said and done, the project is tentatively scheduled to be finished by the fall of 2017.







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