CowParade at Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo. (KSBY photo)
CowParade SLO organizers announced Monday this year's event raised more than $250,000 for more than 40 local non-profits, and beat out other cities around the world in the live auction.
There were 101 cows created for the event, including one in front of the KSBY building, which was one of a few that were auctioned off in May.
CowParade is a popular tradition in various cities other than San Luis Obispo, such as Paris, New York and Rome. A dairy farmer decided to apply to have it held on the Central Coast after seeing one in Chicago in 1999.
"My wife, Rebecca and I were so impressed with CowParade, we wanted others to experience it as well," said Alan Vander Horst, a Cal Poly graduate and third-generation dairy farmer. "And, of course, we love cattle. While San Luis Obispo County is smaller than most CowParade cities, we knew it would do well here because this great community does so much to support art, and it has such a rich agricultural history."
The live auction average in San Luis Obispo exceeded this year's events in England and Brazil, while equally measuring up to the parades in Boston, Denver, Houston and Kansas City.