A ton of fiberglass cows will take over Industry City for charity this summer

Over 75 artists will decorate the pieces of non-livestock.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan
Senior National News Editor
Photograph: Courtesy of CowParadeLondon, 2002

You're probably familiar with the beautifully decorated fiberglass cows that have been spotted around New York in the past few years. But did you know that they are actually part of a public art event that first kicked off two decades ago? CowParade, as the non-profit effort is aptly called, initially took over the city in the year 2000, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for a variety of charities. The event is officially returning on August 18, setting up shop through September 30 at Industry City.

Rio de Janeiro
Photograph: Courtesy of CowParadeRio de Janeiro

A total of 75 different artists from all around the globe have been tapped to work on their own cows—including Cynthia Erivo, Jeffrey Banks, David Stark, Kamila Zmrzla, Jen Lewin and Neil Patrick Harris alongside husband David Burtka. Each piece will be on display and then eventually auctioned off to the highest bidder, all for charity. Throughout the years, the likes of Kate Spade, John Rocha, Radiohead, Vivienne Westwood and Elio Fiorucci have designed their own fiberglass animals.

Since landing in New York, the charitable effort has expanded to 34 countries around the world and a total of 6,500 cows have been created in conjunction to the happenings. This summer's CowParade, featuring God's Love We Deliver as its exclusive charity partner, will actually be the organization's 100th event. 

New York, 2000
Photograph: Courtesy of CowParadeNew York, 2000

So... why the cows? According to the event's official website, "the [animal] is universally beloved [and] represents different things to different people. She's sacred, she's historical, she connects us to our past—but the common feeling is one of affection. [...] She makes everyone smile."

Photograph: Courtesy of CowParadeBoston

Industry City is slowly but surely becoming a must-visit artistic and cultural destination within New York's borders. Just last year, the site unveiled five new murals inspired by the issues that defined our lives in 2020. Back in March, a ton of New Yorkers fled to the premise to enjoy a massive, Japanese-style outdoor dining area that truly felt like Tokyo. This summer, you'll find us there moo-ing through beautifully artistic cows—join us?

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