How To!

How To Put Your Town on the Map

Erika Nelson on the magic of the roadside attraction.


Episode Notes

If you’ve ever vacationed on the beaches of Delaware, chances are you drove right by Smyrna. It’s a small but charming town that’s been bypassed by the main highways. Which is why Mike, a small-business owner on the town council, wants to create a spectacular, engaging roadside attraction to tempt tourists into town. The only snag? He doesn’t know what to actually build.

On this episode of How To!, we bring on roadside attraction aficionado Erika Nelson. She’s the creator of the World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Versions of the World’s Largest Things. She’s also an artist who helps towns like Smyrna develop their own car-stopping attractions. She decodes the magic of the most wondrous roadside attractions and explains why hosting a Guinness World Record–holding object is not the only key to success. You also have to tell a good story.

If you liked this episode, check out: “How To Convince People to Give You Money.”

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Podcast production by Derek John, Rosemary Belson, and Kevin Bendis.

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About the Show

What if Dear Abby were an investigative reporter? Each week, Amanda Ripley and Carvell Wallace take on listeners’ toughest problems and, with the help of experts, find the answers to questions you’ve always wanted to ask but couldn’t. Until now.

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