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Willemstad, Curaçao

Williwood Sign

This tiny tropical village was sick of anonymity so the locals made this sign, which actually changed the name of the town. 

Sint Willibrordus was once just a nice, if little known, village 12 miles northwest of Willemstad, the capitol of Curaçao, but the locals, tired of being overlooked, have now rebranded their small town as “Williwood” by building a cheeky, hillside monument.

Previously, the remote town was best known for its grand church that dates back to the 1880’s, but in recent years the town’s independently constructed “Williwood” sign has taken the spotlight as the can’t miss attraction. Taking the nickname for the area and writing it large in a parody of California’s iconic Hollywood sign, enterprising citizens built a new identity for their town. The sign itself rests on a modest hill at the back of a barren soccer field and is prone to blowing over during storms, but the monument is so beloved by locals that people will run out before the gales are even over and fix any fallen letters, claiming bragging rights if they get their first.

While the Williwood sign began as somewhat of a joke, its appeal took almost immediate hold and the town of Sint Willibrordus was officially renamed Williwood in 2011. Now visitors, of which there are markedly more, can buy hats, t-shirts, and other pieces of tat bearing the Williwood name with nary celebrity to block traffic in site.