Portlandians Spread Holiday Cheer by Yarn Bombing Their City

We dare you not to crack a smile at a bronze hipster bear rocking a knit beanie.

Nov 22, 2016

(Berna Namoglu / Shutterstock.com)

In a true effort to uphold its repute as the hipster capital of the world, Portland, Oregon is keeping it weirdly cute this holiday season by "warming up" the iconic bronze sculptures in the city's downtown Pioneer Courtyard Square. In a cheeky play on interacting with public statues, community, and DIY crafts, Portlandians dress their statues with colorful knit sweaters, handcrafted by a team of local knitters. Baby otters are decked out in Hanukkah sweaters, ducks are wrapped in dainty capelets, deer are donning striped leg warmers and the sculpture locally known as "umbrella man," gets the ugly Christmas sweater treatment with aplomb.

The UglySweaterPDX project, started as the brainchild of a group of meticulous knitters who wanted to do something celebratory for the city during the holidays. They managed to excite the Portland Business Alliance for they idea, and the alliance now hires local artists to cover the city's statues in yarn every year. For locals who pass through the square regularly, the unexpected scene breaks up the monotony of the everyday, and adds a welcome dash of cheer to downtown Portland - a city that champions all things unconventional, supporting local creatives and exposing the public to fiber arts and even more uses for DIY arts and crafts.

The yarn bombing adds some major color to the season's festivities and we dare you not to crack a smile at a bronze hipster bear rocking a knit beanie with a matching poncho. This year, the statues will be unveiled on November 25, and through Christmas, the statues will revel in weekly costume changes every Thursday. Passersby are encouraged to snap selfies and upload selfies, accompanied by the hashtag #UglySweaterPDX. For every social media post, the DowntownPDX initiative will make a donation to the Blanchet House of Hospitality, which offers food, shelter, and aid to those in need.

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ELIANNA BAR-EL, CONTRIBUTOR
Elianna has a background in English literature and psychology and works as an editor and freelance wardrobe stylist. She writes on travel, fashion, food and inspiring people.