Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Moo memories

Today I randomly discovered that Ventspils in Latvia now has another claim to fame apart from hosting the annual Latvian Eurovision national final, Eirodziesma.  Ventspils has become the latest European host of the world's greatest annual open-air public art event - the Cow Parade.  The event will also take place in Toulouse this summer, and throughout Northern Ireland, and also a number of global destinations.  More info at

In case you are unfamiliar with Cow Parade, a number of different international cities are chosen every year and local artists and communities are given the challenge to paint their blank canvas which is none other than a fibreglass cow. The results are often unique, dazzling, funny and dare I say it, 'moo-ving' (!)  The cows often have witty cow-pun names to match their design - "Moo Are Here"/"The Daily Cow-Mute"/"Metamoorphosis"/"Spur of the Mooment" for example.  The cows are then placed all over the host destination for visitors to enjoy.  Once the exhibition is over, the cows are auctioned and all the money raised goes to charity so it's all in a good cause too.

Rediscovering the Cow Parade today took me all the way back to the summer of 2006, when it was Edinburgh's turn to host the event between May and July of that year. Everyone knows that cows are my most favourite animal, so needless to say I absolutely loved the Cow Parade. It was great fun trying to track down as many of the cows which were situated throughout the city, particularly in and around Princes Street Gardens.  There were even cows hanging between the pillars at the Royal Scottish Academy of Art.  The event really put a smile on everyone's faces and I would recommend that you check it out if it ever comes to a town or city near you.  Here's a few cows from Edinburgh 2006.

(Going back to Ventspils for a minute, I'm reminded of how Latvia's finest, Renārs Kaupers from Brainstorm was also known as 'Reynard Cowper'...someone should maybe have designed a tribute and called it Reynard Cow-per.  No?  OK then.)

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