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BellaOnline's MidWest USA Editor

Roadside Attractions - Carhenge, Alliance Nebraska

Some rather unique roadside attractions can be found in the Midwest, and one of Nebraska's most popular attractions, Carhenge in Alliance, is one that you donít want to miss.

A replica of Stonehenge in England, Carhenge was built in 1987, in a field near Alliance, using vintage American cars instead of stones. Jim Reinders and other members of his family built Carhenge as a memorial to Reindersí father. Thirty-eight cars, all painted gray, were placed in the same configuration and proportions of Stonehenge. Some of the cars are upright, buried five feet deep with the trunk end in the ground, while other cars form the arches. The cars used to form the arches have been welded in place. A 1962 Cadillac has the honor of being the heel stone, or car. There's an adjacent car-art sculpture park, featuring sculptures made from cars and car parts, adorning the areas surrounding Carhenge.

Carhenge was once on the verge of being demolished, as the people of Alliance felt that it was an eyesore and a junkyard. Relatives and friends of the Reinders family got together and created the Friends of Carhenge. Jim Reinders donated the ten acres where Carhenge is located to the group. Thereís now a parking lot, picnic tables, a display board, and a visitorís center is being constructed.

Carhenge has been featured in a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder commercial, on the cover of Steely Danís 1994 remastered ďThe Best Of Steely Dan: Then And NowĒ, and has been used in television shows and movies. Itís also been listed in Patricia Schultzí book, 1000 Places (in the USA and Canada) To See Before You Die.

Carhenge is open to the public 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Daylight hours are best for viewing this unique attraction. Thereís no camping at the sight, and thereís also no admission fee. Donations are accepted to assist with the visitorís center.

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