Has This Popular Midwest Trend Migrated to Colorado?
Growing up in Ohio, it was super common to see plastic or concrete goose statues dressed up in clothing on peoples' porches or in front yards - including my own. This unique trend is not something that's seen very often in Colorado, but could that be changing?
Lawn ornaments started popping up in America around the 1870s - a custom that was actually adopted from ancient Rome.
The origin of ornamental geese dates back to around 1980. The idea of concrete lawn geese supposedly hatched in Kentucky, but the fad of dressing them up likely came from people in Indiana, Illinois, or Ohio, although that part of the story is a little murky.
Porch geese became incredibly popular around the Upper Ohio River Valley during the 1990s. The concrete statues can be a bit harder to come by than the plastic geese, and some can weigh nearly 65 pounds.
In the 90s, clothing items for the small yard statues skyrocketed across the midwest. Enthusiasts began buying full wardrobes for the inanimate geese and still do to this day. There are even multiple online retailers solely dedicated to creating clothes for fake geese. Sometimes their outfits are changed seasonally, for a specific holiday, or even based on the weather. Raincoats and bonnets are just a few of the popular fashion items seen on many lawn geese throughout the rural midwest.
Still a Fad?
According to historians, the recession caused a decline in goose fashion. If people couldn't afford to buy their own clothes, they weren't going to purchase additional pieces for their lawn ornament to wear. However, what's being described as a “hipster resurgence” is happening with this midwest movement, and dressed-up yard ducks are becoming big again.
Migrating to Colorado
During the height of the global pandemic, Gertie the Goose from Colorado Springs gained attention for her creative and stylish outfit choices. The silly goose brought smiles to many people's faces, at a time when it was needed the most.
Since moving away from Ohio, I hadn't seen a goose statue in years. But that changed on a walk recently, when perched at the edge of a neighbor's porch, was a costumed plastic goose.
Maybe this feathered fad is making its way to Colorado after all?