Cow Parade 2006 - Fab Hat Cow

Edinburgh over the moo-n as cows take to the streets

CowParade, the world's largest public art event has arrived! 94 brightly coloured bovines will be grazing Edinburgh 's cityscape from Monday 15 May to Sunday 23 July.

This unique event is presented and funded by Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian (SEEL), City of Edinburgh Council and Mountgrange Group. CowParade unites businesses and the creative sector with local communities and has wowed cities around the world, including Sydney , New York , Prague and Barcelona. In 2006 it premieres in Scotland with the fibreglass grazers brightening the capital's streets in a multitude of different colours, designs and materials.

Some highlights of CowParade Edinburgh include a homage to the iconic National Galleries sculpture The Three Graces, known in cow form as The Three Grazers, a cow inspired by historical hero William Wallace known as BraveMoo, the Fab Hat Cow designed by local milliner Fawns Reid is all about haute cowture; while the Can Can Cow is willing to take your empty drink cans for recycling. The Can Can Cow is not the only interactive cow of CowParade Edinburgh - look out for Cowpat! at the National Museums of Scotland which changes colour when touched, An Udder Couch to sit on in the Onmi Centre and even a cow that could help you find your next pet ¨C An Udder Unwanted Animal is a cow covered in pictures of animals seeking a new home.

Charlie Langhorne, managing director CowParade Europe is delighted with the response to CowParade Edinburgh: "Business, local and arts communities have come together to make CowParade an event that celebrates the spirit of fun and diversity which is at the very heart of Edinburgh . Particular thanks to our supporting partners SEEL and The City of Edinburgh Council, and Mountgrange Group. The cows are some of the most exciting designs I've seen and people have just 10 weeks to pick up a trail map and see them all before they'll be past-your-eyes!"

Susan Watson, head of Tourism at Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian added: "CowParade has already visited a number of leading European and US cities and we are delighted to be supporting the event to come to Edinburgh . The city has an eclectic mix of artistic and cultural festivals and events happening throughout the year that really does offer something for everyone. This range of events help to promote Edinburgh as one of the most vibrant capital cities in Europe , boost tourism and make it a more globally attractive location for people and businesses to relocate to."

An integral part of CowParade has been the involvement of local community groups who have added a wealth of creativity and talent, with their special cows joining the herd as part of the Cow-munity Programme. These cows have been generously donated to the community groups by The City of Edinburgh Council, Mountgrange Group, Edinburgh Evening News, Radio Forth, Ocean Terminal, One City Trust, Whiteburn Cowgate Ltd, Cowshed at The Scotsman Hotel and Health Scotland . The programme has allowed groups to work with artists and learn about different art forms while expressing themselves and celebrating their own communities. In all there are 11 Cow-mmunity cows involving; the Pilmneny Youth Project, Craigmillar Community Arts, North Edinburgh Arts Centre, South Edinburgh Girls Group, WHALE Arts, Royal Mile Primary School, The Cowgate Centre Arts Group, primary school children from Leith, The Ark Trust, members of the Garvald Centre and the Bonnington Art and Craft Group.

At the end of CowParade, the majority of the Edinburgh herd will go to market ¨C a Gala Auction in September, with 75 per cent of the net proceeds from the auction going to the following charities; OneCity Trust, tackling social exclusion through a range of community projects, and VETAID, working to alleviate poverty through sustainable farming in developing countries.

CowParade has successfully stampeded through many cities across the globe. It started in 1998 in Zurich , with the fibreglass cattle modelled on real Swiss cows. Over 3,000 cows have been created since then and over 5,000 artists worldwide have been involved.

More about Cow Parade:
news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/in_pictures/4980056.stm