by J.S. Fletcher and Kathy M. Newbern ©2013
Our recent trip to Hendersonville, NC, proved a delightful visit in many ways. One was the bears in the streets. Not the big, furry kind found in the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains, but those of an artful nature, the colorful, whimsical kind that comprise the 11th annual outdoor public art display called Bearfootin’ that features fiberglass bear sculptures decorated in different themes and displayed on the sidewalks of Main Street.
Of course, decorated animal sculptures are nothing new, and many such installations exist elsewhere. Here are just a few:
- Chicago, IL, unveiled 360 "Cows on Parade" in 1999
- Cincinnati, OH, has 425 swine in the "Big Pig Gig"
- Buffalo, NY, has 150 bison in its "Herd About Buffalo"
- Orlando, FL, features 200 geckos in "LizArt"
- Louisville, KY, has 200 horses for “Gallapalooza"
- Baltimore, MD, has the "Crabtown Project"
- Nashville had “Catfish Out of Water”
- Raleigh got into the act with wolves
- Greenville, SC, has those cute mice hidden about on Main Street
- Many cities do bulls
- Many more, including Chapel Hill, NC, offer up cows.
Hendersonville has hosted its Bearfootin’ Public Art Walk since 2003, and it runs through the summer until Apple Festival time when the bears are auctioned off with proceeds going to various area charities. Last year 12 bears brought in $20,900. This year’s auction has 13 bears (which you can view in the slideshow to the left) and takes place on October 19 from 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm. Go see the leaves; buy a bear.
As with the exhibition’s fanciful name, Barefootin’, each bear not only has a cute, themed get-up, each has its own play-on-words name. For instance, there’s Berry Christmas (photo left) in front of Four Seasons Christmas Garden & More, Small Town Abearica in front of Mast General Store, BrewGrass Bear, and Audrey HepBear. Past bears include Yogi Beara, Jam-Bear-Laya, and Bear Necessities. As you’ll see in our slideshow, other merchants have joined in the spirit by displaying their own bears on the sidewalk – that’s just the way things are here: everyone feels a part of the scene.
True, the bears are not the main reason why people come to Hendersonville, but they do add that extra umph to the dynamic art scene of this dynamic mountain.
We’ll be writing more about the area in the near future, including Connemara, the Carl Sandburg (The Poet of the People) House. Also nearby is Asheville, NC, known for Biltmore Estate and the Grove Park Inn and Spa, the location for the Fletcher Newbern personalized novel, For the Ages. (if you can’t go there, it’s the next best thing – F. Scott Fitzgerald and the resident ghost, the Pink Lady, make an appearance).
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Luxury Travel Examiner Kathy M. Newbern and spouse, J.S. Fletcher, report on luxury destinations, spas and cruising around the globe. They are award-winning members of the Society of American Travel Writers and created YourSpaReport.com and YourNovel.com, their personalized romance novel business.