New 'Herky on Parade' Statues Unveiled During FRY Fest
By Hayley Bruce, Reporter
CORALVILLE, Iowa -- A familiar friend to many University of Iowa students and alumni will be striking a new pose across the Iowa City and Coralville communities early next year.
Josh Schamberger, president of the Iowa City/Coralville CVB, announced Friday that the "Herky on Parade" public art project is coming back to the area next year, marking the 10-year anniversary of the first installment in 2004.
The largest public art project ever produced in the area, which was based off of the Chicago Cows on Parade public art project, originally placed 90 Herkys decorated by local artists on the street.
This year, they plan to celebrate by installing 75 more.
"There's nothing I've ever done that has had so much positive feedback as far as our organization other than this and ever since we took them down people have said 'when are they coming back,'" Schamberger said. "So we thought it made the most sense to bring it back on the 10th anniversary."
The new statues feature a 6-foot-1 Herky posing with his hands on his waist, Superman-esque stance, on a two-and-a-half-foot, 2,000 pound base.
After being fabricated by a company in Chicago, the statues will arrive in town in January and will be designed and painted by local and regional artists and sponsored by local businesses.
The first four new Herkys, which were unveiled during FRY Fest on Friday, will begin being placed in public view in January 2014. The remaining 71 will not be unveiled until May 2014. The Herkys will then be on public display May through September, before they are auctioned off.
Dale Arens, trademark and licensing director at the University of Iowa, said all involved are excited for the second set of Herkys, adding the one that lives in the Athletic Hall of Fame, where he works, is still a popular photo-op.
"It was so much work ten years ago, but it was so much fun because it really was a collaboration of the municipalities -- the community and the university -- and the fan engagement was off the charts," said Arens. "There's not a week that goes by where several people don't come by and get their picture taken -- it's like a bucket list collectible sort of thing."
The Herkys unveiled on Friday include one 'Super Herky' which resembles the traditional Iowa Mascot that runs up and down the sidelines of Kinnick Stadium on game days, a Herky sponsored by Midwest One Bank which is covered with black and gold photos of fans, a Hawkeye Express train conductor Herky, and a Hayden Herky -- which is intended to resemble former UI Football Coach and FRY Fest namesake Hayden Fry.
Artists who wish to participate are encouraged to contact Marcia Bollinger with Iowa City. Anyone interested in sponsoring a Herky can get in contact with Allie Howarth, director of special events with the Iowa City/Coralville area CVB, or Clarissa McPheron, special events assistant. with the CVB.
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