The community is invited to an unveiling event for Brainerd’s newest Babe statue.
Babe the Waabigwan Ox is set to be placed on the corner of South Eighth and Laurel streets in downtown Brainerd. A ceremony will take place at that location 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 21. Attendees will learn about the creation of the new landmark and its ties to the Brainerd community.
The original statue belonged to Nor-Son Construction as part of the Brainerd Lakes Ox Trot in 2008. Nor-Son donated the ox to the Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce, who offered it to the Destination Downtown Brainerd Coalition to add to the artistic and historic appeal of downtown Brainerd. Josh Porter, owner of Avalon Studios and creator of the ox statue, refurbished and applied the final clear coat. The Crossing Arts Alliance assisted with a call for artists to reimagine a new look for Babe.
Babe the Waabigwan Ox derives its name from the Ojibwe word for flower. The artist, Brainerd teen Aiyana Beaulieu, drew her inspiration for the colorful print from Ojibwe beadwork, tying together the history and culture of Brainerd's Indigenous people.
The project was made possible by Avalon Studios, Nor-Son Construction, Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce, city of Brainerd, The Crossing Arts Alliance, B. Johnson & Associates and Destination Downtown Brainerd Coalition.