For those who find themselves passing through Newark, Ohio, keep your hands on the wheel, and try not to stare when all of a sudden a massive woven basket weaves into view. No, it is not the home of the Easter Bunny. The Longaberger Company is an American manufacturer of handcrafted maple wood baskets, so it’s only fitting that their headquarters is modeled after their best selling product; the ‘Medium Market Basket’.
Dave Longaberger, who founded the Longaberger basket company, was the business visionary who not only tapped into the world demand for hand-woven party baskets, he dreamed up the idea of running his growing organization from the world’s largest replica of one.
There was no need for an architect for the 180,000 sq ft building, as the Longaberger Company designed it themselves. The basket handles weigh a reported 150 tons, and can be heated during the winter to prevent falling ice and snow.
Longaberger employees, less visionary than their leader, thought maybe Dave was cracking up and had been hitting the bottle at first, but were astounded when they moved into Baskzilla on December 17, 1997. To date, the monument is the world’s largest replica of a woven basket.
The structure is 160 times larger of Longaberger’s medium market basket. It measures 192 feet long, by 126 feet wide at the bottom, spreading to 208 feet long, by 142 feet wide at the roofline. It is a magnificent sight, especially when all lit up at night.
But, according to a fairly sober unemployed former National Enquirer reporter, Longaberger actually built the structure for far more sinister purposes. The reporter claims Dave was a member of the ancient secret organization, the Illuminati, and the structure was designed and created for intergalactic sacrificial purposes. Kind of a peace offering to ‘appease the gods’.
Not knowing if the arrival of the interstellar visitors will be peaceful, or if we’ll become prey, the Illuminati figured that the best defense was a good offense, and had Longaberger make a massive basket stuffed full of humans, perfect for dash and grab alien shopping.
When we attempted to contact the Longaberger headquarters to either confirm or disprove the Illuminati rumors, all we could get out of them was a recommendation to check into a treatment center. After exchanging profanities with a dead phone line, we began to suspect that there may be a whole lot more to the story than just drug and alcohol induced dementia.
So, after literally minutes of exhaustive research, and purchasing a coffee for a homeless dealer of ancient antiquities, we suspect the truth about the Longaberger basket is far more disturbing than mere alien snack packs. Research revealed that allegedly the Longaberger structure was originally built to be the main office for a proposed Yogi Bear amusement park, which went bankrupt after being sued by the national association of park rangers for defamation of character.
After the demise of the proposed park, it’s rumored that Longaberger refused to accept the bear structures (Yogi and Boo Boo) as part of the deal, because he thought they would make people think of Winnie the Pooh, and he didn’t want his product associated with pooh. So, it appears that instead of facilitating alien fast food, the basket is a replica of a cartoon prop, and sits in Newark, Ohio as a giant reminder to the whole world that investors are wise not to put all their eggs in one basket.