Monday, September 19, 2016

CowParade Launch in SLO

At the CowParade in San Luis Obispo
I was reading the L.A. Times travel section, a couple of weeks ago, when my eye caught a small ad for the launch of the CowParade in San Luis Obispo (SLO), where painted fiberglass cows are being displayed until May. The eight-month-long event will eventually end in an auction, benefiting local charities. Similar "parades," held around the country—and even the worldhave raised over $30 million.

On Saturday, the renowned Madonna Inn resort hosted a free preview of all 101 cows before they move on to various locations around town. I immediately contacted our friends, who live a few miles north of SLO, to see if they wanted to go. I'm sure everyone thought I was crazy for wanting to see a bunch of painted plastic cows. But I remember how wonderful it was—and still is!—to unexpectedly run into one of the hundreds of painted fiberglass angels placed around Los Angeles, 15 years ago, as part of a massive public art display and auction. I knew the cows would be just as amazing. And I was right!

Approaching the Madonna Inn from the north, we could already see the cows—and the crowds looking at them—from the freeway. A few of the sculptures stood on hind legs, catching a frisbee or posing like Marilyn Monroe, but most looked like normal ol' cows. Except, of course, they were gloriously covered in beautiful, and sometimes extremely clever, art. Here are just a few of my favorites (click on image to enlarge):

Mommy and baby cows

"In-cow-dible Hulk"

Celebrating local wineries

One of several "Día de los Moo-ertos" designs

Famous graffiti artist Man One painting a cow 

Whimsical look at local breweries

Celebrating the central coast's mid-state fair

 There were cows covered in foliage

And there were patriotic cows

Cow-boy on one side

And cow-girl on the other

Skeletal cows

And athletic cows

Blue cows

Madonna Inn pink cows

And yellow cows

"Milk and Honey"


Monarch butterflies

Steampunk cow


Van Gogh's "Steery Night"

And finally, the "Cowch Potato"


Suzanne said...

What fun! I wish Joanna and Randy had been able to take their girls there. It would be more fun to see them all together instead of around town. It is an interesting way to raise $$, isn't it?

Cyn said...

Your granddaughters would have loved this. I chatted with a young girl, while waiting on line to use the restroom in the Madonna Inn. She was so excited by the whole event. Very cute. It's a great way to raise money. I was ready to buy one right there!