A Treasured Icon Gets A Mascot! : The Name Game

The Van Wezel has been lovingly called the Purple Cow for many years; even stars refer to it as such. “When vacationing here as a child I never thought that I would play on the stage of the Purple Cow.”-said, Amy Grant- the last time that she was here with husband, Vince Gill.


Mary Bensel, Executive Director at the Van Wezel recently found our new arrival at Circus City Architectural Salvage on 10th and Central. “When I saw the cow, I thought, wow! That would make the perfect mascot for the Van Wezel.”

Bensel went on to explain that it was high time we be in on the joke rather than be the butt of it. So we acquired the ginormous metal cow decked out in stereotypical cow colors. The next step in creating a mascot fit for the Van Wezel was of course, to purple-fy it!

Seeking to engage the community and local students, our Education Director, Kelli Bragdon, jumped on board and a competition was born. Booker Middle School was enlisted for the project and students submitted design ideas for the cow. A winning group was selected from the graphic design program at the school. The cow stood in a little enclosed courtyard at the school and was joyfully painted by the students. Before she MOOVED IN, we had a “find the cow contest” in our midseason brochure.studentspaintingcow

So where is the cow now?

We are excited to announce her safe arrival at the Van Wezel on February 19, 2014, at 2pm weighing in at approximately 110 lbs. She is now ready to be exhibited in all her purple glory. You can expect to see her making appearances at different areas of the hall; she has particularly enjoyed: grazing on the bay front, cocktails on our Sunset Terrace, buying tickets at the box office, playing our Steinway- prior to Lang Lang’s concert- ensuring that it was in tune, and arriving for work at our admin offices bright and early.IMG_1287IMG_1194

Now we need your help! … We are not quite finished with our mascot because she needs a name!

So Van Wezel fans, get your name game on and send us your suggestions, the chosen name will be branded on the cow and the winner will also receive a four pack of tickets to the Tony nominated Broadway show, “Bring It On: The Musical” on April 2, 2014.

To enter the contest, submit your name suggestion to vwcontest@sarasotagov.com all entries must be sent before Friday, March 14, 2014 the winner will be announced the following week on Friday, March 21.IMG_1207IMG_1224