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Neighbors of Kane County

The return of Bulldogs Unleashed

Jul 02, 2018 11:14AM ● By Ben Scott

Photo Credit: Britta McKenna

by Christopher Cudworth, City of Batavia and Britta McKenna, Bulldogs Unleashed Marketing

Photo: Michael Barton, Michael Barton Art

Batavia has long celebrated its history as the city of windmills, but in recent years a new symbol for pride in community has been making a play for the attention of residents and visitors during the summer months. Bulldogs Unleashed adds a highly artistic flourish to the Batavia High School bulldog mascot. The first Bulldogs Unleashed public art project took place the summer of 2011, raising $75,000 for local charity partners:  Batavia Foundation for Educational Excellence, Batavia Parks Foundation and the Batavia Public Library Foundation. The three partner foundations have teamed up once again for an encore exhibit.

Photo: Michael Barton, Michael Barton Art

More than thirty local artists submitted designs to the Bulldogs Unleashed committee in 2017. Each offered themes of local landmarks or inspiring creations such as superheroes or patriotic symbols, to name a few. Following the approval process, committee members secured sponsors for each of the Bulldogs while the artists went to work over a 6-8 week period creating their bulldog masterpieces. The thirty bulldog masterpieces were revealed to the community on June 10 as part of the Batavia Flag Day celebration. The twenty-seven 30” fiberglass bulldogs and three monster 44” bulldogs plus eight legacy bulldogs from 2011 are now positioned around Batavia for the public to view.  Maps of the Bulldog locations, listing artists and sponsors, are available at: Batavia City Hall, Batavia Public Library, Batavia Park District and Batavia Public School District. Online location maps are available on the City of Batavia website, QR from your smartphone or go online to to tour the canine collection.

Residents and visitors are encouraged to visit the Bulldogs for photo opps, but it is not recommended that anyone sit on or “ride” any of the sculptures. Share your photos at the Bulldogs Unleashed Facebook page @BulldogsUN and follow the fun all summer long on twitter and Instagram.

After the summer display of Bulldogs concludes, the Bulldogs Unleashed committee hosts an auction on September 15, 2018 at the Eastside Community Center. Auction tickets are available at, the official website of Bulldogs Unleashed. 

The Bulldogs were introduced June 10 at the Flag Day celebration. 
Photo: Kyle McKenna

Tabletop Foster dogs are on display at the following businesses: K. Hollis Jewelers, Funway, Batavia Family Dental, Chapters Coffee House, Beardsgaard Barbers, Urban Style Salon and Spa, All Spoked Up, J DeCarlo Salon and Spa, Kiss the Sky, and The Tea Tree. Raffle tickets can be purchased at any of these locations, Farmers Market Bulldogs Unleashed tent - last Saturday of the Month, Windmill City Fest, and on the Bulldogs Unleashed website. These 10 - 17" tabletop dogs will be raffled at the September 15th Auction event, but one need not be present to win.

Bulldogs Unleashed is a public art display that enlightens, entertains, and brightens Batavia from Memorial Day through Labor Day. At the same time the beloved mascots provide financial resources to important community foundations, support the local arts community and provide doggone fun for the citizens of Batavia. Invite your friends and family to town to find all the bulldogs and enjoy the hospitality of Batavia.