Everything You Need To Know About Herky on Parade

Written by
Alex Pape
Published on
May 5, 2024
Written by
Alex Pape
Published on
May 5, 2024

While venturing through Johnson County, there’s a good chance you will come across a couple statues of the University of Iowa mascot, Herky the Hawk. Whether it’s the fighting stance of the 2004 Herky, or the superhero pose of the 2014 statue, there are dozens of Herkys scattered around the community.

2024 marks the 20th anniversary of Herky on Parade, the area’s largest public art installation. This year there are dozens of local businesses sponsoring local, regional, and national artists to design and create the 100 new Herky statues that will be unveiled across Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, Solon, Tiffin, University Heights, and Johnson County on May 1st, 2024! 

The Herky on Parade base statue mold featuring the new flexing pose is the empty canvas for this year’s artists. Photos by Joseph Cress/Think Iowa City

How To Parade

At 10am on Wednesday, May 1st, the tornado siren test went off and all 100 statues were revealed simultaneously across the county. Our Herky on Parade Website boasts the full catalogue of every Herky statue and their location so you can pick out your favorites and hunt them down with ease!

Throughout the parade this summer, we will be continuously posting on our social media accounts to highlight every statue in the flock, so be sure to follow us @HerkyonParade and keep an eye out for fun activities including scavenger hunts, artist spotlights, merchandise drops, community features and more!  Each week we will reminisce with #ThrowbackThursday posts featuring pictures we receive from the community from the last two parades, so keep sending your old photos in as well!  

The parade concludes at the end of August.  All the 100 Herkys will be on display for a final time at the 15th Annual FRYfest.  Any Herkys that were not purchased by their sponsor will be auctioned off at a public event in September (stay tuned for more details!). 

How To Parade

Originally inspired by the 1999 public art exhibitCowParade and the 2001 project-Overalls All Over, Herky first went on parade in 2004 with 75 fiberglass statues posed in a fighting stance. In 2014, Herky returned with a flock of 84 statues posed in a brand-new heroic stance with his hands on his waist. While most of the 159 statues have found homes in private locations across the area, there are still a number of Herkys on display across Johnson County.   

Ashley Smith, left, talks with an artist about the statues for the Herky on Parade 3.

In honor of Herky’s 75th birthday, Herky on Parade returns! Herky is back with a new pose with one arm flexed, hand raised high and one hand at his hip. This year features the biggest flock to date,100 statues and with that comes a hundred new photo opportunities to seek out! 

Keep an eye out on our social accounts on Facebook, Instagram and X (Twitter) @HerkyonParade and sign up for our newsletter for updates throughout the next four months and possibly a few surprises you won’t want to miss! 

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