Herky on Parade Returns in 2024

Written by
Miranda Bradberry
Published on
September 1, 2023
Written by
Miranda Bradberry
Published on
September 1, 2023

CORALVILLE — The Gazette

The very popular ‘Herky on Parade’ will return to Johnson County in 2024, marking the 20th anniversary of the original community art installation as well as celebrating Herky the Hawk’s 75th birthday.

Officials from Think Iowa City and the University of Iowa made the announcement at FRYfest in Coralville on Friday while toasting Herky for his birthday with hundreds of Hawkeye fans and a few dozen other mascot friends. While making the announcement, a brand new Herky design “Diamond Jubilee Herky” was unveiled to commemorate the 75th birthday, as 75 is the diamond anniversary. Jim and April Kelly of Coralville designed and decorated the special edition Herky that is covered with over 120,000 gems including one full carat diamond provided by MC Ginsburg in Iowa City.

“It’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 years since we first ‘took to the streets’ with Herky on Parade in 2004,” said Josh Schamberger, President of Think Iowa City & Iowa City Area Sports Commission. “In 2014, Herky the mascot got a new makeover which we celebrated with the rollout of Herky on Parade 2.0. I recall several of us joking about how we’d be too old to do this again on a 20th anniversary, well here it is 10 years later, and we’re energized and excited do it all over again. It coincides perfectly with Herky’s 75th birthday celebrations.”

The third edition statues will have a new pose. Herky’s right fist is held high as he is ready to charge. 75 different 6-foot-tall statues will be designed and decorated by artists and placed in public spaces throughout Johnson County from May through August 2024. Similar to 2014, businesses and individuals will have the opportunity to sponsor a statue. Those details are still in the planning process.

“What a wonderful opportunity to continue the celebration of Herky’s 75th birthday. Herky on Parade brings our communities together and creates so much enthusiasm from our fans. We appreciate the partnership with Think Iowa City and are excited to see the statues next spring” said Beth Goetz, Interim Henry B. and Patricia B. Tippie Director of Athletics Chair.

Think Iowa City and Herky on Parade officials will release further details in the coming months.

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