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Cattle drive art project to be installed by end of February

Posted 10/28/21

Cattlemen’s Square art project - work is underway in Flagler Park

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Subscriber Exclusive

Cattle drive art project to be installed by end of February

Posted

OKEECHOBEE – Work is underway in Flagler Park in downtown Okeechobee to prepare for the Cattlemen’s Square art project.

Cattlemen’s Square project was proposed by Main Street in 2015, explained Okeechobee City Administrator Gary Ritter at the Oct. 28 meeting of the Okeechobee County Commission. The concept has grown through the years with partners including Okeechobee Economic Council and the City of Okeechobee.

The city has invested about $93,000 in an architectural design, he said.

“We are working with contractors to start getting the park ready,” Ritter explained. “Our public works department has cleared the park and gotten it ready for a new sidewalk configuration.

“The city council just recently committed $100,000 to the project,” said Ritter. He said the city will also contribute about $25,000 in in-kind service. The city public works department has really taken ownership of the project, he continued.

“Since Okeechobee is a cow town and this is the 500th anniversary of when they first brought cattle to Florida, we felt this was a perfect project for us,” said Angie Griffin, president of Okeechobee Main Street.

She said art projects bring people downtown, which benefits the downtown businesses.

The 10-piece bronze sculptures project will be 125% of life size and will include a horse and a rider, a cowboy on a fence, a Brahman bull, a cow dog, a calf, and five head of cattle.

The sculptures are designed to represent cattle in Okeechobee County in the 1960s era. Griffin said the cattlemen have been helpful in the look and authenticity of the artwork to make sure it represents Okeechobee well.

The sculptures will cost a total of $476,000. Griffin said so far they have $338,000 in private donations. She asked for financial support from the county. Commissioners agreed to put the item on the agenda for their next meeting.

The deadline for installation is the end of February 2022.

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