Lawrence's favorite mascot is about to try on a coat of many colors.
The Jayhawk is an imaginary bird, and artists soon will be asked to stretch their imaginations even further to come up with some unconventional Jayhawks.
Jayhawks on Parade is the name of the event being planned by the Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau. It will be styled after similar events such as the Dala horses in Lindsborg and the cows in Kansas City. Lawrence, the home of the Jayhawk, soon will be the home of about 30 5-foot-tall Jayhawks painted in eye-catching and nontraditional ways.
Artists will submit designs, which will be reviewed by a jury that will forward their selections to the projects' sponsors. Once the designs are executed, the painted Jayhawks will be placed in clusters (nests) around town for the enjoyment of local residents as well as out-of-town visitors. The Jayhawks are scheduled to spring up with the tulips early next spring.
The project is intended partly as a tourism attraction, but it also should provide plenty of fun for local residents. None of the creative designs is likely to replace the traditional crimson and blue, but, like the traditional Jayhawk, the Jayhawks on Parade probably will bring a smile to many faces.