Twenty-four goats will be baaack at Riverside Park for this year's Running of the Goats!
Starting at 11am on Wednesday, Riverside Park will welcome the herd with a live band that includes saxophone duo Peter and Will Anderson, speeches from elected officials, and a live performance of "Lonely Goatherd," from The Sound of Music by The SoHarmoniums, New York’s Own Women’s Choir.
Then, they will be released into the park to have free range of all the delicious invasive plants on its rolling hills.
And of the 24 goats, five—Skittles, Buckles, Chalupa, Mallemar and Ms. Bo Peep—will be staying back at the park for the summer to keep the plants at bay as part of the Riverside Park Conservancy’s "Goatham City" initiative launched in 2019.
They'll eat poison ivy, porcelain berry, multifloral rose, bittersweet, wineberry, and lesser celandine, across 2 acres, between 119th and 123rd streets, before they go home to Green Goats Farm in Rhinebeck, NY.
The "Fabulous Five" are also campaigning to be the G.O.A.T. The public will be able to "vote-the-GOAT" using its "untested" ranked-choice voting system this summer.
Need a little background on the contestants? You can read their little bios here, which are guaranteed to make your day.
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"Our ranked-choice voting system will go off without a hitch and the GOAT will be crowned without any confusion or controversy by the end of the summer," said Dan Garodnick, the president and CEO of the Riverside Park Conservancy. "We encourage New Yorkers to come meet the 'Fabulous Five' in person and to pay attention to our social media channels as the goats roll out their platforms."
Heading to the running of the goats? If you register in advance, you will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win a Riverside Park Conservancy gift basket. Head over to eventbrite.com to do it!