MARYSVILLE, KS – “Marysville has always been known as Black Squirrel City. The folklore was that in the early 1900’s a carnival came to town, and the carnival brought two Black Squirrels – one male and one female, and a small boy let them out and they’ve been here ever since.”
And local residents continue to honor their beloved Black Squirrels Mascot, a tradition that brings the city together.
Marysville even passed a law stating that Black Squirrels have the right of way when it comes to traffic regulations, and if you intentionally trap or kill a Black Squirrel, you’re looking at a misdemeanor.
Earlier this fall, the town gathered together to celebrate Black Squirrels on Parade, a project that had been underway since early 2015.
“We had about 2,000 people downtown for Black Squirrel night and we debuted all the 21 squirrels.”
The statues, that stand about 5 feet and 9 inches tall, were purchased individually by local businesses and families. The squirrels are now placed throughout the town for townsfolk to cherish and curious visitors to look upon.
“We hired America’s Fiberglass Animals out of Seward, Nebraska and Patrick Keough (the owner) was the sculptor. He made a foam mold – once we involved our high school students, and they did a prototype out of clay. They (the students) all designed one and then we went down and chose one. They kind of had to tweak it, with the hands and different things, so we don’t have kids climbing on them or pieces falling off. But once they made the prototype and we chose, Patrick then made the mold.”
Local stores and shops also stocked up on Black Squirrel merchandise from coffee mugs, to t-shirts, to ornaments.
The town hopes their statues will be around for years to come.
“You know, it’s Kansas! If the weather doesn’t do something terrible to them, I hope they last for 10 years or more.”