This year, Cincinnati hosted the 2015 All Star Game for Major League Baseball. Whether you were a baseball fan or not, it was hard to ignore the excitement that overtook the city as it was preparing for this major sporting event. Everywhere you looked, everywhere you went, you saw signs of the city getting ready - the buildings were decorated, stores were full of merchandise, and mustaches were popping up all over the region.
Now you may be reading that and saying, "Mustaches? What do you mean, mustaches?" Well, one way the city of Cincinnati prepared for the visitors to the area was to place statues of handlebar mustaches, decorated with All Star or Red's inspired art and words, at some iconic locations in the area. These statues are 8 feet long, 2.5 feet high and weigh about 850 pounds.
And now, you may be wondering exactly what a mustache statue has to do with a baseball event? Because, Cincinnati is the city that was home to the first professional baseball team, The Cincinnati Red Stockings in 1869. If you were to look at a photograph of the 10 men on that baseball team, you would see most of them were wearing mustaches, and most of those mustaches were of the handlebar variety. The Cincinnati Reds (the name that the current professional baseball team is called) now has a mascot called Mr. Redlegs, and Mr. Redlegs sports a handlebar mustache.
As soon as it was announced that 20 of these mustaches were going to be placed around the area, I decided it was a great idea to go to the 20 locations and get photos! I wanted photos of the mustaches, but I also wanted some photos of the area that the mustache was located at. These locations are a real "where to go" list for visitors and also for residents, who may not always take the time to see the beautiful city they live in. I was not alone in my quest to find these mustaches, it actually became quite the thing to do in the area. Not only were visitors and residents seeking to go to these locations, brides and grooms were having their pictures taken at a mustache, a hashtag #getyourstacheon became a popular tagline, and instagram feeds were getting filled with photos of the different mustaches.
Cincinnati is not alone in putting statues around town to highlight an event. In 2004, Houston placed giant cowboy boots around town. This is not even the first time that Cincinnati has had large statues located around the city. In 2000, and again in 2012, large pig statues were decorated and placed around the city.
Have you ever been to a city that had their own statues or markers placed around to coincide with a major event? Did you try to find these markers? If you haven't had the chance to do a hunt like this, would you do it if you had the opportunity?
If you live near or can visit Cincinnati, I highly recommend looking for the mustaches. In case you don't get to visit soon, I am adding photos of the 21 mustaches. Yes, I originally said 20 mustaches, because all official lists and maps show 20. However, there is an unofficial mustache, and it was a must see to me!
Our first mustache, this spot is a great one to visit anytime. It is an overlook in Eden Park, and a beautiful view into Northern Kentucky.
This mustache gets you across the Ohio River into Newport, Kentucky, where an aquarium, shopping center and restaurants are located. It also gives you the chance to look back across the river into Cincinnati.
This location is one of my favorite views on the mustache map. It sits next to the Roebling Suspension Bridge, which was the suspension bridge that came before the Brooklyn Bridge. I didn't include a photo with the bridge in it, because I want you to go see it in person!
This is another must see spot. Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal is not only a gorgeous building, it is the home to three museums as well as an IMAX theatre and other organizations.
The most Northern mustache location is at a recently renovated baseball complex. If you visit this location on a weekend, the chances are good that you will see some baseball games in progress.
We started our second mustache hunt at Paul Brown Stadium, the home to Cincinnati's professional football team, the Bengals.
This mustache sits at one of the entrances to Smale Park, and across the street from the Great American Ball Park, the current home to the Cincinnati Reds baseball team. Smale Park is a definite place to visit! It has a large, unique carousel, a giant foot piano, colored water fountains and large family swings, just to name a few things that you will see.
This location at Yeatman's Cove is down the path from Smale Park, and has a great view back across to the Newport Aquarium.
After you pass the view at Yeatman's Cove, you will come into Sawyer Point, and see the statue of Cincinnatus. The city was named after this civic leader that gained fame for his selfless devotion to the Roman Republic.
A busy spot, this location is outside the front gate to the home of Cincinnati Reds, the Great American Ball Park.
Located at a popular area called The Banks, this mustache has a great spot across from the Roebling Bridge entrance on the Ohio side of the river, as well as across the street from the beautiful new carousel at Smale Park.
Not many statues of a beardless Abraham Lincoln exist, but this one is located in Cincinnati at Lytle Park.
Another beautiful spot that I had never been before my hunt, was City Hall. Yes, it is a beautiful building listed on the National Register.
This mustache was unique in that it was the only one that shows all of the professional baseball team logos (the other half are on the reverse side), and is located at the convention center.
This is the mustache that was furthest away from most people, because it was at the airport. It was such a beautiful setting - and the closest to a Starbucks!
Located inside a hotel lobby in downtown Cincinnati, this mustache was located across from Fountain Square, the symbolic center of the city.
Found in an area of the city called Over The Rhine (OTR), this mustache gets you into the trendy and historic part of Cincinnati. Notice the mural in the background? The entire OTR area is covered in awesome works of art, and is a great place to visit for food, shopping and sight-seeing.
This mustache is located inside of Washington Park, an 8 acre park inside the city, and has the beautiful Music Hall across the street.
Finally, the "unofficial" mustache. This photo doesn't even begin to show the amazing view that you will be seeing if you visit the Incline Public House restaurant in the background. Just go!