Pequot Lakes became home to a second red and white bobber water tower a few years ago. Now the downtown area will welcome a second Babe the Blue Ox statue.

A fundraising campaign is underway to refurbish an ox statue and place it outside the Pequot Lakes Chamber Welcome Center in Trailside Park, just off the Paul Bunyan Trail. Babe, of course, is lumberjack giant Paul Bunyan's trusty companion of folklore.

The location will provide a prime photo opportunity for people to pose with the ox, complete with the bright red chamber building and the original bobber water tower both visible in the background.

A Babe the Blue Ox statue will be painted a traditional blue color and placed in Trailside Park in Pequot Lakes to provide photo opportunities. Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal
A Babe the Blue Ox statue will be painted a traditional blue color and placed in Trailside Park in Pequot Lakes to provide photo opportunities. Nancy Vogt / Echo JournalNancy Vogt / Echo Journal

It’s all perfectly Pequot, is it not?

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The ox statue was part of the Oxtrot, a 2008 campaign that placed more than 20 Babe the Blue Ox statues painted in various themes in different locations across the Brainerd lakes area.

An ox statue featuring a painted summer fishing scene can be found at Bobber Park in Pequot Lakes right under the iconic water tower. That park also features Paul Bunyan’s lumberjack chair - a giant wooden chair the city is looking to refurbish.

Other ox statues are still on display at Wildwedge Golf just north of Pequot Lakes, at Black Pine Beach Resort in Ideal Township, at Crosslake Town Square, and at the Pine River Chamber Information Center and Hunt Utilities Group in Pine River.

An ox that once was on a corner in downtown Nisswa is now inside Carlson Hardware, just down the road from its original spot.


The location will provide a prime photo opportunity for people to pose with the ox, complete with the bright red chamber building and the original bobber water tower both visible in the background.


Josh Porter, who owns Avalon Studios in Merrifield, sculpted the original ox statues in 2008 for the Oxtrot campaign. He’s refurbishing and repainting the Pequot Lakes ox a traditional blue color.

Nor-Son Construction donated the ox, and now the chamber is raising money “to help bring Babe home to Pequot Lakes.” So far, $3,500 has been raised to pay for refurbishing and painting the ox statue, a concrete pad to set it on, an engraved plate and placement of the ox statue in the park.

Sponsorships include:

  • Gold, $1,000: Business logo engraved on a permanent plaque, participate in ribbon cutting ceremony, have first photo opp with Babe and receive a social media shoutout.

  • Silver: $500: Business name engraved on a permanent plaque, invitation to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony and receive a social media shoutout.

To sponsor the ox statue, contact interim Pequot Lakes Chamber Director Sue Galligan at sue@brainerdlakeschamber.com or 218-822-7119.

Anyone interested in having their own ox statue can contact Josh Porter at 218-851-7965.

Fireworks fundraiser

The chamber is also raising funds for Stars & Stripes Days fireworks shows in Pequot Lakes.

The chamber said that on average, professional fireworks shows cost $1,000 per minute. The Stars & Stripes Days committee's goal is to increase the fireworks budget to provide a great show every year.

The goal was to raise $12,000 for a 12-minute show this year, Saturday, July 3. Fireworks donations received as of Monday, May 3, totaled $12,361.60 - enough to pay for 12.3 minutes of fireworks.

The chamber will continue to raise funds to go toward the 2022 Stars & Stripes fireworks. “Round Up Your Bill” fundraising promotions will start at Pequot Lakes Supervalu and Pequot Lakes Dairy Queen from fishing opener through Memorial Day weekend - Saturday, May 15, through the weekend of May 29-31.

To donate, contact interim Pequot Lakes Chamber Director Sue Galligan at sue@brainerdlakeschamber.com or 218-822-7119.

Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.