Bucky on Parade: Public art project featuring Bucky Badger coming in spring 2018

May 17, 2017

The Madison Area Sports Commission (MASC) is pleased to announce the creation of a brand new event that will be coming to Madison in the spring of 2018. Bucky on Parade is a free public art event that will bring the Badger spirit to the streets of Madison and Dane County. Bucky on Parade will thrill and delight locals and visitors alike as our beloved mascot Buckingham U. Badger will be interpreted in works of art.

Graphic: Bucky on Parade logo

Bucky Badger has already appeared on T-shirts and baseball caps; he even has his own set of reaction emojis, but now with the help of the Madison Area Sports Commission, Bucky will be brought to life in a way never seen before in our area. Bucky on Parade will feature life-sized Bucky Badger statues decorated by artists. These fun and creative interpretations of Bucky will be on display throughout greater Madison and the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus beginning in May of 2018 and running through the summer season. After the public art display, the Bucky statues will be auctioned off to raise funds for charitable organizations.

Deb Archer, president and CEO of the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) and Madison Area Sports Commission (MASC) is excited to create a visible and fun season-long visitor attraction that will capitalize on the familiarity of this beloved mascot while also serving as a fundraiser. “This unique experience will showcase the playful personality of Bucky Badger and highlight the creativity of our community. We are honored to be entrusted with managing such a large-scale public art event and will use the tools and experience from other projects, including the highly successful Cows on Parade, to help guide us through the process,” she said.

Wisconsin’s most lovable and best recognized mascot has always been a fan favorite. Originally a live mascot, in 1949 the UW–Madison art department commissioned a student to create a papier mâché head. Another student wore the outfit at Homecoming and the legend was born.

“This unique experience will showcase the playful personality of Bucky Badger and highlight the creativity of our community.”

Deb Archer

MASC is partnering with UW–Madison, the Wisconsin Foundation & Alumni Association, UW Athletics Department and Garding Against Cancer to create more than 100 different Buckys.

“We are excited to partner with the Madison Area Sports Commission on this exciting project. Bucky Badger is a wonderful symbol of our institution and is immediately recognizable by everyone — whether they attended the UW or not. We think this will draw people to campus and to the greater Madison community,” remarked UW–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank.

“Everyone loves Bucky,” UW Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez said. “He’s one of the legendary mascots in college athletics and a tremendous ambassador to all of Badger Nation. Bucky on Parade will be a fun way to showcase all that is great about Bucky,” he said.

“We are honored to be the charity of choice for this event, which will likely be at the top of everyone’s Must Do list while in Madison,” said Michelle and Greg Gard of Garding Against Cancer, a charitable organization that raises funds and awareness for cancer research and care in the state of Wisconsin.