Collectively Celebrating Our Big Blue Ox
Heroes and big shots often have sidekicks. Often folks seem to like sidekicks as much as their more flamboyant counterparts. Imagine Fred Flintstone without Barney, or Lucy without Ethel. Or, even more unthinkable, who could ever feature Paul Bunyan without Babe!
Indeed, our most famous local sidekick, is of course Babe, the Blue Ox. Babe is poised on the stage of notoriety once again as Josh Porter and his area arts funds-raising Ox Trot project offers a quirky and charming way to celebrate our collective fondness for the big ox. Babe lovers can buy or rent a big ox body, custom painted and fancied up if they wish, to display at an open-to-the-public site of their choice within the area.
And, that is exactly what will be happening at the Pine River Chamber of Commerce site this spring. Hunt Utility Group, LLC (HUG) has sponsored the ox that will call this site home. This ox has been declared the official Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway ox.
The Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association is currently collaborating with Nolita Christensen of HUG and John Wetrosky of the Pine River Chamber of Commerce to design a clever, interpretive panel to accompany the ox. Regular users of the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway are already familiar with the appealing style of the informational panels in the roofed kiosks dotting the 54 miles of the route. This panel will weave together a story using elements of environmental sustainability, promotion of byway site visitation and Pine River history, using, of course, the familiar zesty spunk of the tall tale style spritzed throughout the panel story.