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Elephants up for auction Saturday in Erwin

Sue Guinn Legg • Updated Oct 18, 2017 at 11:43 PM

ERWIN — The colorful baby elephant statues in downtown Erwin are going on the auction block.

The latest installment in the Erwin Elephant Revival benefit for The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee, the auction will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at Gathering Place Park across Main Avenue from the county courthouse.

Food trucks will be on site near the park and East Tennessee State University’s Old Time Pride Band will perform on the park stage starting at 11.

The elephants are already on display on the park stage, recently moved over from their spots along Main Avenue, where they made their debut in April.

For those who haven’t seen them, photos of the colorfully painted Fiberglas statues by professional photographer Parker Bohon are posted on the town website at www.erwintn.org along with more information about the auction. For those who are unable to attend, proxy bidders may be arranged by calling Erwin’s town hall at 423-743-6231.

The statues were bought with sponsorship funding from the town and several Erwin businesses in conjunction with the 2016 Erwin Elephant Revival, which marked the 100th year anniversary of the hanging of Mary the circus elephant in the town’s rail yard.

Now in its second year, the revival has since raised approximately $8,000 for the East Tennessee elephant sanctuary for retired circus elephants. And Revival organizers with RISE Erwin young professional group are hoping to more than double that amount with Saturday’s auction.

Named in honor of the elephants living at the sanctuary, the statues were painted by professional artists and art students who donated their services to the benefit. And they will be auctioned on Saturday by professional auctioneer Kimball Sterling, who is also donating his service.

The bidding will start at $1,500, or the original purchase price for the unpainted elephants charged by the producer, Elephant Parade.

More information about Saturday’s Auction is available at riseerwin.com, the RISE Erwin page on Facebook and the town web site www.erwintn.org.

Email Sue Guinn Legg at slegg@johnsoncitypress.com. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.

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