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There’s a T-rex near Sleeping Bear Dunes, and, yes, it’s definitely worth checking out

Northern Michigan has a new roadside attraction, and lots of people are already stopping by to take pictures of it.

What is it? Gilbert the T-rex, a life-size dinosaur that took about 4,200 hours of work to make, said Curtis Warnes of Curtis Warnes Functional Art, whose business the dinosaur rules over.

In November 2021, MyNorth - now a 9&10 News sister publication - ran a feature story on Warnes and the amazing art he’s making in Empire. In the story, it mentioned how Warnes and his team were working on creating a life-size metal dinosaur. The work is now finished, and you can see Gilbert outside Warnes’ business, 12100 S Plowman Rd., Empire, MI.


Warnes said the sculptor and creator of Gilbert is Enoch Flaugher.

“It was his primary job for me for three years and roughly 4,200 hours,” Warnes said in a message to 9&10. “He really deserves to be recognized and given credit for making it as amazing as it is.”

According to the MyNorth article, Gilbert cost $45,000 to make, and it was inspired by a special-order art piece by a customer, Warnes said. He also commented that the dinosaur is his gift to the area and a great way to drive some of that M-72 traffic to look him up.

Warnes’ dinosaur isn’t the only one in Michigan. There also are some at Dinosaur Gardens in Ossineke, and some in Southern Michigan as well.


See more of Curtis Warnes Functional Art on this Facebook page. And below, check out this post of his of the dinosaur being built, and a Jeep to show scale.

Honestly….does this Jeep make my dinosaur look big?

Posted by Curtis Warnes - Functional Art on Thursday, July 27, 2023

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