NEW YORK -- Here's a cattle drive for which the city won't have to
rope off any streets, although it's designed to attract herds of
Spurred by the success of a similar promotion in Chicago that
ended its four-and-a-half-month run on Oct. 31, New York City's
parks and streets will be invaded next summer by as many as 1,000
painted, life-size, fiberglass cows as part of a tourism promotion
The Chicago exhibit, branded Cows on Parade, included some 340
fiberglass cows that the city sold to businesses and individuals
for $2,500 apiece and for up to $11,000 for a cow painted by a
local artist commissioned by the city.
The Chicago exhibit attracted an additional 2 million visitors
to the city, who spent $500 million on hotels, food and
sightseeing, according to the Chicago Office of Tourism.
The New York exhibit is scheduled to run from June 15 through
Labor Day and will include as many as 1,000 40-pound cows, each
secured to a 580-pound concrete base.
The cows will be displayed in a variety of venues throughout the
five boroughs, including the South Street Seaport, the Park Avenue
Esplanade and city parks such as Central Park, Battery Park and
The painted cow as a tourist attraction was first mounted two
summers ago in Zurich, Switzerland, where a display of 800 cows was
credited with increasing tourism by nearly 1 million visitors.
Chicago jumped on the cow bandwagon this past summer. "Since
CowParade made its debut in Zurich and Chicago, it has caught on
like wildfire," said Jerome Elbaum, president of West Hartford,
Conn.-based CowParade Worldwide, which owns the rights to the cow
Chicago's cows included "Chi-Cow-Go," a heifer sporting the
Windy City's skyline on its body and the four red stars and two
blue stripes of the city's flag on its face.
The New York Foundation for the Arts and other city arts groups
will make open calls to New York artists to submit design proposals
for the fiberglass cows. Submissions will be due in January. The
proposals will be reviewed by a panel of arts, business and civic
After the exhibit closes, a "cattle auction" will be held on
Sept. 1, with a portion of the proceeds going to city charities and
the Parks Foundation.
The New York Convention and Visitors Bureau said it is hopeful
that the exhibit will boost tourism by as much as 3 million to 4
If, like in Chicago, the exhibit draws 2 million visitors, the
city stands to make $1 billion from tourist spending, the bureau