High Chaparral Theme Park
High Chaparral is a Wild West theme park and museum, close to Värnamo, Sweden. It features cultural artifacts and collectibles. It opened in 1966, founded by Bengt Erlandson, more commonly known as 'Big Bengt'.
Big Bengt, the founder[change]
Big Bengt was born in 1922 in Brännehylte, Småland. His parents owned a forest farm and a wood mill. Big Bengt was involved in starting over 1000 companies. His interest in the Wild West was born from coming from a countryside where many had emigrated to America and from the stories they told. Bengt went to the United States himself in 1956 and in 4 months covered 4000 km. He came back to Sweden with a lot of impressions. When the Swedish national phone company had to get rid of 200,000 telephone poles, Bengt took the opportunity and constructed a fort. When many people started to get curious about the place, he realized its possibilities.
The park was opened in 1966. It stages several stunt shows a day. It also has a steam train that runs through the park. There is both the classic Wild West section, an Indian themed area, a Mexican themed area, and a museum overflowing with cultural artifacts, old cars, machinery, and various Cold War oddities such as the bronze monster-size statue of Lenin expelled from Nowa Huta.