Let’s give a hand to this Missouri roadside attraction: the giant praying hands in Webb City (the city of flags).
These large hands in prayer stand at 32 feet tall (on top of a 40-foot-tall man-made hill) and weigh a whopping 110 tons! (It’s important to note that while these prayer hands are impressively tall, they aren’t the world’s largest praying hands – those can be found in Tulsa, Oklahoma.) At the base of the hands is a winding concrete slab inscribed with a simple message: Hands in prayer. World in peace.
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The Praying Hands statue was created by local artist Jack Dawson in 1972. Two years before, he had approached the Webb City Park Board and the Historical Society with the idea for the praying hands sculpture. They quickly approved his plans and encouraged locals to help fund the emerging artwork. In 1972 they were placed in the park and, on April 28, 1974, a dedication ceremony was held and the hands were open for all to see. Dawson said at the dedication, “The hands symbolize the need for a personal commitment and relationship to God.”
Thousands of visitors stop by this Route 66 roadside attraction each year to take in the sight that overlooks Webb City. There’s a parking lot below the structure and a staircase up to the top. Don’t miss it! While on our Missouri road trip we didn’t see the lot and ended up parking on the street behind the sculpture and climbing up the side of the hill to get to it!
Giant Hands in Prayer
Address: W. Tracy St., Webb City, MO (near Highway 71)
Hours: Always Visible
Cost: Free to See
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