Bucky on Parade: A community-inspired art project

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- He's been around since 1948, but for the first time, Bucky Badger is getting dozens and dozens of makeovers.

It's all part of a new project called Bucky on Parade, a community art event put together by the Madison Area Sports Commission and UW-Madison, letting artists throughout the area put their own twist on Bucky Badger.

"Bucky Badger, we always see him in the same thing. He's always in a red and white striped sweater. He's always at a different game or parading around the community, and this is the first time we get to see Bucky in 85 different ways," said Kate Dale, a senior marketing manager with the Madison Area Sports Commission.

These 85 different Bucky Badger statues will be on display across Madison and Dane County. They will be unveiled at the same time, 11:00 a.m. on May 7.

The statues will be out all summer and through the middle of September.

"How these artists, what they've done to make them come to life in so many different ways is truly incredible. And I think it's something that everyone can enjoy. From a child, all the way up to a grandparent, and it's something for the whole family, and overall it's just a really great, exciting community event to bring both the University and our community together," said Dale.

And the work will not disappoint.

"I mean this project has continually blown me away in the two years we've been working on it. But to see each one of these statues come in, is truly like Christmas morning. It's been goosebumps," said Dale.

It's also a fundraiser. Proceeds will go to Garding Against Cancer, supporting cancer research in Wisconsin. Madison Area Sports Commission and several other communities will also benefit.

NBC15 is a proud media sponsor of Bucky on Parade.