SUGARCREEK — The male polka dancer on the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock will be dancing solo for the near future.
The clock, a mammoth structure that has graced the square since 2015, was vandalized last week and the female dancer — Olga — lost an arm.
According to Mayor Clayton Weller, two boys between ages 12 to 14 went through the gate and crawled up on the platform/stage where the two polka dancers spin around to music played by a five-piece band.
"A resident, Ernie Raber, 91, who likes to sit near the clock, watch it and talk with visitors, witnessed the actions. These boys and their parents were at the clock and the boys jumped up on the platform. The parents said you boys should know better. I don’t think you should be up there," Weller said. "But the parents did nothing."
Every 30 minutes, the 3-foot-tall animated couple on a track, dance to a polka played by a five-piece oompah band.
"The couple comes out to do the polka and spin — they are chain driven and the couple shakes. It hit one of the boys, very hard — and it cracked her arm enough that on Tuesday the arm fell off," Weller said. "We took the lady down and Marlin Troyer has glued the arm. Hopefully the lady will be back dancing in place very soon."
Weller added that this is the first time anything like this has happened at the cuckoo clock. Cameras will be installed and police will keep a watchful eye on the clock.
Weller said someone placed a get-well balloon on the fence outside the clock.
The cuckoo clock has long been a tradition in the area. It was once located at the former Alpine Alpa restaurant near Wilmot.
The 24-foot-tall cuckoo clock was constructed in 1972 and after several builders worked on the clock it was finally displayed on the roof of the restaurant.
In 1978, the clock was featured on the front of the Guinness World Records book and has been certified as the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock.
Mark Coblentz of Walnut Creek Cheese purchased the clock at an auction and brought it to Sugarcreek.
It sat idle and in disrepair for several years until it could be restored. In September 2015 it was placed on the square in Sugarcreek and has brought thousands of visitors to the village to view the clock.