WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — There are a few spots in Wheeling that might just bring you good luck and fortune.
Wheeling is known to many as the Friendly City, but what you might not know is it’s full of hidden gems.
Bobo the elephant is a life-sized stainless-steel elephant that stands tall on Main Street in Wheeling’s Heritage Park. The sculpture is made of refurbished stainless-steel from an old commercial refrigerator.
“What it brought was something that was so different. Who else has an Asian elephant, life-sized, on Main Street. And it brought people just to have some whimsy, something light.”Susan Hogan – Wheeling Heritage Park Volunteer
Many years ago, the circus would come to town in Wheeling. Once the circus arrived in the city, they still had one more obstacle to cross, that being the Wheeling Suspension Bridge. The circus elephants would parade across the bridge for all the town to see.
“It was a big show for people in the town and of course the newspapers were always there and so we have these really phenomenal historic photos of elephants crossing the Wheeling Suspension Bridge and Bobo is a nod to that.”Betsy Sweeny – Chair of Wheeling Arts and Cultural Commission
With Bobo coming to town there were people from all over that began to experience the happiness that she brought to the park. Bobo is known to change people’s moods by opening their eyes and filling them with joy.
“Just a few times I’ve sat on that bench and from across the street you’ll see these two kids and they’ll run up and they’ll see the elephant, you see their eyes getting big and then you see this other like their parents and then they’re like they got this like art look. Art makes you shift in your mind, and you forget other things.”Jeff Forster – Sculptor of Bobo the Elephant
“I think it brings joy. It’s that simple. Most art does. Some is disturbing for a good reason. She’s just joy.”Susan Hogan – Wheeling Heritage Park Volunteer
If you want to visit Bobo the Elephant, the sculpture is located near the corner of Water Street and 11th Street next to the Mugshots Coffee Building.
Bobo hopes to see everyone from the Friendly City this summer as he continues to put smiles on people’s faces.