A hidden gem: the klown doll museum

PLAINVIEW, NE –

From the outside of the Klown Doll Museum, you can’t miss the 8-foot-tall wooden clown that stands right in front of the entrance.

Aside from the 7,000+ clown dolls that occupy the building, you are likely to be welcomed by volunteer, Darlene Bonge, a friendly face that’s been with the museum since 1999.

Bonge was involved with the museum since the start because of her late husband, Larry, who passed away this March.

“My husband was a board member for a long time and he volunteered and did all kinds of things. I came along with him when he needed me and I filled in when they needed someone to host.”

A colorful hat that Larry used to wear still remains in the store, and Bonge puts on every now and then.

On Saturday, the town of Plainview celebrated their annual “Klown Festival”, which is always held during the first weekend of June.

Some of the festivities include a triathlon, an inflatable carnival, a hotrod car show, pony rides, a barbecue, and of course, the Klown Museum is open to the public.

After 20 years of volunteering, the work never gets old for her.  Bonge gets to interact with local kids and parents daily and says she’s proud to work at such an attraction.

“Mostly kids come in,” Bonge says. “And when they come in they’ll say they’ve lived here but have never been here before, and they all need to to see what it’s like.  It’s quite an attraction…it’s special really. We have a large variety of clowns, not too many duplicates.”

What’s next for the Klown Doll Museum?  They hope to someday make it in the Guinness Book of World Records and also plan to expand the store because they’re running out of room for all of the clowns.

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