CALEDONIA – The Village of Caledonia will dedicate a giant stainless steel eagle and American flag statue to one of Caledonia’s most treasured former mayors, Harvey Cohen, this weekend.
Young students of Olie Olson, Livingston County’s best-loved metallurgist, created the 12-foot sculpture from about January to May 2016. It will be brought to the Village in two parts, first the eagle on Wednesday and then the colossal flag on Saturday, but kept carefully under wraps until the big unveiling.
“One of the things we’ve tried to do as a Village is make Caledonia more of a destination, get more businesses, and generally improve our Village,” said Caledonia Mayor Debbie Davis. “Having a sculpture like this is just incredible. Wait till you see it. You’ll be floored.”
Harvey Cohen was mayor of Caledonia from 1961 to 1969. His family, who paid for the materials for the statue, owned Community Outfitters on State Street, a longtime staple clothing store.
“That’s where everyone bought their clothes before the big department stores,” said Davis. “The whole family are big supporters of our community.”
The weekend has a lot more to offer on top of the statue unveiling and dedication.
Saturday morning will begin with breakfast from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. There will be a kids’ chalk drawing contest and bike parade, a 5K starting at 9:30 a.m. at the Episcopal Church, and the statue dedication at 10:30 a.m.
At noon, the famous parade will begin.
Kids can enjoy a ‘penny carnival’ and bounce houses. The Oatka Fish and Game Club will be in town from LeRoy to teach kids how to fish. Weather permitting, there will be a vintage car parade by the post office on North Street.
A few class reunions will coincide with the celebration.
The third annual Cal-Mum Alumni Remembrance Educational Scholarship (CARES) whiffleball tournament will once again raise money for the scholarship. The scholarship was established to commemorate the victims of the automobile accident on July 16, 2013, Cal-Mum Alumni Taylor Binnert, Chris Peterson, and Emily Peterson, and all Cal-Mum alumni who have tragically lost their lives, by supporting a graduating senior and their future plans. You can register online here.
In the evening, Bob’s Brother’s Band will play from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
“There’s so much to do, but so much of it has to be done right beforehand,” said Davis. “It’s tiring but very rewarding.”