Edinburgh CowParade 2006 - No 12: Over the Rainbow
Edinburgh CowParade 2006 - No 12: Over the Rainbow (c) flickr/Edinburgh Blog

The largest public art event in the world is set to paint the town red, yellow, blue and all the colours under the sun as over 100 life size cows will take to grazing Edinburgh’s streets from 15 May to 23 July 2006.

CowParade has wowed cities around the world, including Sydney, New York, Prague and Barcelona. Now, for the first time in Scotland, these fibre glass grazers will brighten Edinburgh’s streets in different colours, designs and materials.

The bovines will be painted and decorated by local artists, celebrities and community groups. For 10 weeks, the cows will inhabit Edinburgh’s cityscape, creating an unforgettable and remarkable urban pasture. Residents and visitors can expect to see cows at some of Edinburgh’s most iconic landmarks and public spaces, and there are sure to be cows grazing in some unexpected and ‘unmoosusal’ locations.

Local businesses and other organisations have the chance to sponsor a cow.  Sponsors have been selecting a design from the portfolio of  designs submitted in the open Call to Artists, or sponsoring a blank cow and commissioning their own artist. Sponsoring a cow through the Cow-munity scheme has enabled cows to be designed by groups from all over the city.

Over 250 artists have submitted designs for the cows with businesses  choosing their favourites as well as commissioning dedicated artists for their cows. Of the cows to watch out for, visitors can spot the scary glow in the dark ‘Night Moo on Blair Street’, Moosaic, a cow covered in detailed mosaic tiles and even a Highland Cow covered in copper strips!

At the end of CowParade, the majority of the Edinburgh herd will go  to market – a Gala Auction, with 75 per cent of the net proceeds from the auction going to the following charities: OneCity Trust, tackling social exclusion through a range of community projects, and  VETAID, working to alleviate poverty through sustainable farming in developing countries.

CowParade has successfully stampeded through many cities across the globe. It started in 1998 in Zurich, with the fibreglass cattle modelled on real Swiss cows. Over 3000 cows have been created since then, and over 5000 artists worldwide have been involved.

Charlie Langhorne, Managing Director of CowParade Europe:

“It is a  wonderful opportunity to host a CowParade event in Edinburgh as one of the world’s leading cultural destinations.  It is important that CowParade reflects the unique character of each of its host cities, and we are confident that this event successfully brings together  local communities, businesses and the creative sector to celebrate  the spirit and rich diversity which is at the very heart of Edinburgh.”

Edinburgh’s Lord Provost Lesley Hinds said:

“The event will help  enhance Edinburgh’s reputation as the UK’s leading events city and is sure to attract additional visitors and bring major economic and cultural benefits to the city.”