The Lake Mendota-bound Statue of Liberty is scheduled to make its second annual appearance this year, with construction to be completed over the next few days as the University of Wisconsin’s Hoofers Winter Carnival approaches.
Hoofer’s Vice President of Programs and UW junior Mindy Cummings said those planning this year’s carnival thought bringing the statue back again would be a fun addition to the carnival. She said assembly has already begun, and she hopes the statue will be completed Tuesday.
The first step to assembling the statue, Cummings said, is laying wooden boards down on the ice. She said this very first step caused volunteers some challenges because some of the wood used last year was too old and rotten to use again.
After the wood is down, volunteers will assemble Lady Liberty’s head and face. The pieces, made of Styrofoam, have guides that make them easy to fit together, Cummings said.
Hoofers volunteers will then add the crown. The final step is assembling the statue’s arm with her torch.
Cummings added the carnival has fallen by the wayside in past years, and she hopes things like the statue will bring it to greater prominence.
“In the past couple years it’s kind of gotten to be nothing, and I’m really hoping to kind of push and bring it back into something that could be pretty awesome in the future,” Cummings said.
Cummings said Hoofers hopes to make the statue a yearly tradition, though the logistical hassles of assembling it are substantial.
“It’s a lot of work, especially when I have all the rest of Winter Carnival to plan,” Cummings said.
She added the key to getting the statue assembled is having enough volunteers, and if future years do not see enough people willing to help, there will probably not be a future for the statue.
The statue, originally brought to the lake in the late 1970s according to the Hoofers website, had not been seen in Madison for 13 years when Hoofers decided to bring it back to the lake last year.
Ald. Bridget Maniaci, District 2, was the Hoofers event chair last year, and was an important voice in bringing the statue back to campus.
Maniaci said she remembered the statue as a child growing up in Madison. Last year was the 30th anniversary of the first appearance of the statue, and she said she thought bringing it back was very appropriate for that event.
Maniaci said she was pleased to see a return of the statue to Lake Mendota this year. She added Hoofers members put a lot of work into bringing the statue back last year, and she was very gratified to see their hard work has paid off.
“I was hopeful that it would continue to be a tradition…. It’s a really great community builder, and a really great demonstration of Wisconsin spirit,” Maniaci said.
The carnival, which begins Thursday, will go through Saturday and feature a variety of cold weather activities, including ice skating, broomball and ice sculpting demonstrations, Cummings said.