Big Apple's next big parade: Giant fruit to push tourism

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NEW YORK -- First it was life-size fiberglass cows. This summer, it will be 4-by-4-foot acrylic apples.

Spurred by the success of the Cow Parade promotion four years ago, during which more than 1,000 40-pound cows "grazed" in city parks and streets to promote tourism, the city will roll out hundreds of oversize apples this summer to attract visitors and raise money for charities.

The apples will be on display in strategic indoor and outdoor spaces from Aug. 15 to Oct. 15. The promotion will be in full swing during the Republican National Convention in the city in September.

City businesses and organizations will pay $8,500 apiece to sponsor an apple, which will be sold later at auction. Sponsors who want to keep their apples will pay $12,500.

City arts groups have been making open calls to New York and international artists to submit design proposals by the end of this month.

The "apple auction" will take place after the exhibition closes, and a portion of the proceeds will go to city charities such as the the Police Athletic League, City Harvest and the charitable arm of NYC&Co., the city's convention and visitors bureau.

City and tourism officials said the exhibit will showcase the city's diverse arts community and bring tourists to the city who just want to see the apples.

For more information, including sponsorship and artist submission requirements, visit www.bigapplefest.org.

To contact reporter Jorge Sidron, send e-mail to [email protected].

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