BOWIE, TX (KAUZ) - The record-setting Bowie knife is officially up tonight in Montague County. It's been a project three years in the making. Now officials are hoping it becomes a major tourist destination.
The knife is more than 20-feet-long and can sustain winds up to 90 miles per hour and two inches of ice. A masterpiece, many came out Monday to see.
"It's kind of exciting, and hopefully it will bring more people into Bowie," said Bonnie Kinder, a Bowie resident and city employee.
Project officials said that's the goal; to provide a new stop off a busy highway, potentially generating a major economic boost.
"Bowie, the way it's situated, we don't get any traffic off 287 and into town," said Van Baize with the Bowie Knife Project. "We feel like with the
knife, if we get one percent of the traffic to come into town because of the knife, it will generate an excess of a million dollars a year in economic impact."
It's already working. Cars lined the street Monday morning as crews worked to secure the knife and fasten it to its foundation.
"We knew it was going to be put up, I just didn't know it would be today," said Patti Golden, a Bowie resident. "I wanted to see what it looked like and I'm
thrilled with it."
However, not every resident was pleased. Some thought it was a waste of money, and a disappointment, even though the $150,000 project was funded strictly through private donations. But to many others is Bowie, all the hard work has finally paid off.
"I think with the people that showed up, you know, they're very receptive and just real excited to see what this is going to bring to our town, put Bowie on the map,"said Bryan Brown with the Bowie Knife Project.
The installation of the Bowie knife is just the beginning, officials also want to build a Jim Bowie museum nearby. They said it will become a reality as soon as more donation come in. Eventually giving people passing through the area, more of a reason to pump their brakes.
"We were at a wedding on Saturday in Wichita Falls...some people there, when they found out we were from Bowie, said we're going to come see the knife,'" said Golden.
Project officials are still raising money. They will be selling tiles for anyone who wants to purchase them. The tiles will cover the base of the Bowie knife.
Giving anyone an opportunity to put their own stamp on history. To find out more just call the Bowie Chamber of Commerce.
The knife is expected to hold the world record for the largest knife in the Guinness Book of World Records, but it won't be official until a dedication
during the Jim Bowie Days at the end of June.
If you want to see the record-breaking knife you can head out to Pelham Park Thursday at noon.