Do the Roam... the Buffalo Roam!
“Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam…” While Buffalo may not be home to real buffalo, meandering through the fields and occasional road, the city offers a unique way to roam with a creative kind of herd.
In 2004, the Buffalo Rodeo launched an art project and fundraiser that would celebrate the years of rodeo tradition in Buffalo, while also bringing the community together to enjoy art. This project was called “The Buffalo Roundup,” and it was a collection comprised of twenty large buffalo statues, placed in various locations around Buffalo. FiberStock, Inc., of Buffalo, made the buffalo forms, and artists were commissioned to bring life to the statues. Some drew inspiration for their designs from local heritage, while others incorporated western, rodeo elements.
Some of the original buffalo can be seen around town, while others now reside on public property or were sold. In 2012, another round of buffalo was introduced, with nine new ones being added to the herd to encourage tourism. Some serve to support a cause, like the pink one named Hope, positioned in front of the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce, who brings recognition to breast cancer awareness. The latest addition, a purple buffalo, overlooks the sports fields at Buffalo High School, cheering on the student athletes during their games.
Do the Roam
With the interest growing in the various designs and locations, “Do the Roam” was established. This adventure begins with a trip to the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce, located at 205 Central Avenue, to pick up a brochure that maps out the locations of the twenty-two buffalo. Everyone is invited, whether it be families, kids, or groups of adults, to take a trip around town to find the herd and enjoy the variety of art.
To inspire participation in “The Roam,” a Facebook page (@BuffaloRoamMN) was also made. Here, people can post photos of themselves with the buffalo and share their favorites. This page also features tourists who either come from out of town specifically because of the buffalo or discovered the creative statues when passing through or searching for antique shops. “Do the Roam” had proven to be a successful, fun way to explore and appreciate the city.
Buffalo Chamber of Commerce President Sue Olmscheid and Office Manager Suzanne O’Dell enjoy meeting people from near and far who stop by the office to pick up the map.
“It adds something unique,” Olmscheid said of the artistic statues. “We see families stop by to take photos, and it’s so fun.”
O’Dell has also met visitors that have traveled a good amount to visit the buffalos.
“We have people that hear about it and come from outside of Wright County,” O’Dell mentioned. “A lot of people stop by here for the map, and we ask where they’re from, and they come just for the buffaloes!”
While the buffalo form itself is not terribly expensive, one buffalo can cost between $2,000 to $3,000 as it is difficult to find an artist to paint it, and a protective clear coat needs to be applied to seal it. There are no current plans to grow the herd any time soon, but restorations have been done to maintain the current buffalo for everyone to enjoy.
The next time you’re looking for an outdoor activity for the kids or just want to play tourist in Buffalo for a day, visit The “Do the Roam” Facebook page and stop in the Chamber of Commerce office to pick up the map for your next adventure!