Residents and visitors to town will soon be greeted by a “stampede” of fiberglass renderings of the town’s mascot – the ox. The life-sized bovine, decorated and designed by local artists, will feature unique, acrylic-painted patterns and be installed in areas that will draw attention to the town’s retail centers and historical spots.
The Town Plan & Zoning Commission gave the go ahead – with safety stipulations – for the Orange Economic Development Corporation to move forward with the plan it calls the “Orange Stampede” to use public art to promote the town’s retail districts. According to Executive Director Annmarie Sliby, businesses and even residents will have the opportunity to sponsor and personalize their own five by eight-foot oxen which might include a company logo or advertising to bring in customers. Each ox is expected to cost approximately $2,000 for design and installation. “Businesses in a strip mall would have the option of chipping in on it together and splitting the costs,” Sliby said. The structures will be installed in June and taken down in September. “It’s a very unique type of fun, community event,” Sliby said. “I hope we get enough interest to have the oxen in a lot of different places. It will be fun for a lot of people—maybe at some point we could even have tours to see the different oxen around town.” Sliby used Saratoga Springs, New York, with its structures of horses and ballet slippers positioned around town and even Milford as examples of towns that have similar artistic renderings.
The Commission unanimously approved the concept of the plan but emphasized each installation must be approved by the Zoning Enforcement Officer to make sure it complies with traffic sight lines and other zoning regulations. “It’s a good idea, I like it, I just want to see it done safely,” said TPZC chairman Ozzie Parente.
By Laura Fantarella – Orange Town News Correspondent