The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Herky On Parade 2024 statues to be revealed Wednesday

The third edition of Herky the Hawk statues will be unveiled later this week, commemorating 20 years since the first round of statues were created and placed locally.
Ben Smith
A Herky statue with a “PHIL Was Here” sash stands on the Pentacrest on Monday, April 24. Beginning in 2012, the UI launched PHIL Was Here to celebrate philanthropy at the university.

Herky the Hawk statues will soon be spread across Johnson County as a part of the 2024 Herky On Parade, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the parade.

On Wednesday at 10 a.m., the UI will unveil 100 brand-new unique Herky the Hawk statues throughout Johnson County, including in Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, University Heights, Tiffin, and Solon.

The new statues, which all depict Herky posing with one hand on his hip in a fist and the other raising a fist in the air, are the third generation of Herky statues to be placed across Johnson County.

Herky On Parade originally began as a public art participatory event in 2004 and was duplicated in 2014 for the 10th anniversary of the project. Those statues are the ones that can be found across Iowa City and beyond, with Herky standing with his hands against his hips in fists.

The UI announced the newest edition of Herky On Parade in September 2023 and originally planned for 75 new Herky statues to commemorate Herky the Hawk’s 75th birthday. After an influx of designs and a demand for statues from sponsors, the number was boosted to 100.

Local and regional artists of varying ages have been chosen in past years to design a Herky statue. For the third edition of Herky On Parade this year, more than 260 potential designs were submitted from 150 different artists, according to the art installation’s website.

Chosen artists had their blank Herky statues delivered in December and had until March to complete their projects.

Josh Schamberger, president of Think Iowa City and the organizer of Herky On Parade, said at a media event Monday that while artists submit ideas and concepts, it’s really the sponsors that pick the designs they find most entertaining to their business or organization.

“… Obviously everybody in the state really loves Herky. So it’s a lot of fun to do this and see all of the designs and concepts come to life,” Schamberger said. “And you know, the magic is from the artists. I mean, this wouldn’t be any event if we didn’t have just incredible artists.”

Schamberger added he originally aimed to create 75 Herky statues to commemorate Herky’s birthday but that soon was changed.

“I only wanted to do 75 Herkies, but there was so much demand. And when we did this in ‘04, we did 75. And then when I did it in 2014, we did 84,” he said. “So when we got to 75, our collective team was like, Josh, come on, you can do 25 more. And so we did 25 more.”

According to the release, people and businesses could either sponsor the Herky statue or sponsor and purchase the Herky statue. Almost half the statues were purchased by its sponsor, and the other statues will be auctioned off in September.

Schamberger said the proceeds from the auction will support art education and programs in the Iowa City Community School District and the Clear Creek Amana School District for the next several years.

Though the idea of Herky On Parade is not new, the third edition has fresh elements to it, including the addition of statue locations throughout the towns of Tiffin and Solon, which Schamberger said has been welcome.

“Our community and county just continues to grow, and so it’s great that we are able to expand into Solon and Tiffin; great communities and they couldn’t be more excited to have Herky and be a part of Herky On Parade,” he said.

All information about the statues, including photos, descriptions, and locations, will go live online at at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, with the statues themselves being unwrapped and unveiled at 10 a.m. The statues will be taken down during the last week of August before Fryfest.

“We’ll spend a couple days just cleaning them up from things, and then we’re going to put them at Fryfest. So the first time really that the general public will be able to see all 100 together will be at Fryfest in what we’re calling Herky’s final farewell, then we’ll auction them off,” Schamberger said.

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About the Contributor
Kate Perez
Kate Perez, Senior Reporter
Kate Perez is a third-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in English and a Writing Certificate. Prior to her role as a Senior Reporter at The Daily Iowan, Kate was a News Editor, a Digital Producer, and an News Reporter. Outside of The Daily Iowan, Kate has held internships at USA TODAY, Iowa Public Radio, and the Iowa City Press-Citizen.