Giant, colorful perch are on the sidewalks of the Grosse Pointes, a definite improvement from the stinky mounds of fish flies that made their annual visit several weeks ago.
Unlike the stinky, slippery insects, the perch are a welcome sight around town as they serve multiple purposes, including generating traffic for businesses and business areas, raising money for philanthropic municipal improvements and providing some artistic eye candy for passersby.
The Grosse Pointe Perch, 51 of them, are a project of the Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce
and come seven years after a highly successful fundraising frog project. The concept originated in 1998 with Cows on Parade in Zurich, Switzerland. The cow concept spread to Chicago and to dozens of other U.S. and international cities.
Other cities have also come up with their own versions of public art to reflect their towns' personalities and draw people to town while raising money: cartoonish cars in Detroit, salmon in Anchorage, bears in Hendersonville, North Carolina.
For Grosse Pointe, the perch is a play on Lake St. Clair that runs along the five Pointes, a love of the water, and, of course, the perch - whether fishing for them or eating them.
Source: Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce
Writer: Kim North Shine