CowParade Prepares to Stampede Into San Luis Obispo

Artist and Cuesta College student Michelle Watson helped kicked off CowParade SLO last summer with her her cow, which has been used in promotional events.

This September, a herd of crazy cattle will be corralled into the meadow outside the Madonna Inn, the building’s famously pink motif providing a fitting backdrop for what will be a zany public art event.

Imagine a cow striking the famous Marilyn Monroe pose from “The Seven Year Itch,” balancing on a surfboard or hanging out with a giant honey bear bottle.

That’s just three of the cows you’ll see at CowParade SLO.

CowParade, launched in Chicago in 1999, has been featured in cities worldwide, including Paris, Madrid, New York City and Tokyo. Famous CowParade painters have included rocker Ronnie Wood, director David Lynch and the band Radiohead. And CowParade cows have been purchased by celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Ringo Starr and Elton John.

“The Herd” will come to San Luis Obispo and its surrounding cities this fall, but work to create the widespread event is already in the works.

For each CowParade event, sponsored artists paint life-sized cow statues, which are displayed throughout the community for several months. At the conclusion of the event, each cow is auctioned off, with proceeds going to charities.


Morro Bay High School students are helping local artist Ted Emrick create his cow, “Not So Gaudi.”

CowParade SLO will feature 101 cows — a nod to Highway 101, which connects the northern and southern ends of the county. The cows will be unveiled at a VIP event at the Madonna Inn on Sept. 16 and to the general public the following day. From there, the cows will pull up steaks — er, ah, stakes —  and move to cities like San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach, Atascadero and Paso Robles. For seven months these public art pieces will become selfie magnets — and the subject of udderly endless cow puns.

In April, CowParade cows will be mooooved (we warned you about the puns) to an auction, with funds benefiting ArtsObispo, the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County, the California Mid-State Fair’s Heritage Foundation and charities chosen by sponsors.

The event is expected to draw thousands of visitors, giving tourists an opportunity to see beautiful cows in several of the county’s diverse cities and towns.

Along the way, there will be a few fun surprises, but we won’t reveal those just yet: We want to — ahem — milk the suspense.







#ShareSLO Picture of the Week: Barrel House Brewing Company

The craft beer scene has taken off in San Luis Obispo. Barrel House Brewing Company is celebrating its birthday and posted this photo on their Instagram page.

The brewery is based in Paso Robles, but recently opened a new tap room in downtown San Luis Obispo that has a speakeasy feel. Don’t forget to #ShareSLO on Facebook and Instagram when you’re in town!


2016 International Chardonnay Symposium Celebrates the World’s Favorite Grape

2016 International Chardonnay Symposium Celebrates the World’s Favorite Grape

California’s Central Coast hosts a global celebration of Chardonnay

The world’s foremost gathering of Chardonnay producers, The International Chardonnay Symposium, will feature a line-up of top global Chardonnay winemakers, sommeliers, media, trade, foodies and wine enthusiasts during this year’s events, May 12-14, 2016. The Symposium will take place in the classic California beach towns of Pismo Beach and Avila Beach with a grand tasting at the picturesque Greengate Ranch & Vineyard in Edna Valley wine country.
A sampling of panel discussions include:

  • Wente Clone Comparative Tasting
  • What’s Oak Got to Do With It?
  • Pairing Chardonnay With Artisanal Cheese
  • Digging In: An International Look at the Effects of Terroir

Additional events include a Vintners’ Wine Tech Symposium, Sommelier Chardonnay Challenge, Grand Tasting, La Paulée Dinner and Awards Ceremony and new to this year’s event, the Pét-Nat, Sparkling Wine and Oysters Gala. Early-bird tickets to the Saturday Grand Tasting are available and can be purchased by visiting

About The International Chardonnay Symposium

The International Chardonnay Symposium attracts winemakers, sommeliers, media, trade, foodies, wine enthusiasts and tastemakers from across the globe to enjoy and study the world’s favorite grape. When the discussion ends, there’s plenty of time for exploring nearby Central Coast wineries as well as the hosting seaside resort towns of Pismo Beach and Avila Beach that offer downtown winetasting rooms, pristine beaches, surfing and kayaking, hiking and biking trails, farm-to-table and seaport-inspired cuisine, boutique shopping, and more. The International Chardonnay Symposium is sponsored by The Tasting Panel Magazine, The SOMM Journal, Pismo Beach Conference & Visitors Bureau, Avila Beach Tourism Alliance, and the California Highway 1 Discovery Route. For more information, visit

About Pismo Beach, Avila Beach, & Highway 1 Discovery Route of SLO County

San Luis Obispo County’s Pismo Beach, Avila Beach and the Highway 1 Discovery Route destination towns are located on California’s famous Central Coast, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. With miles of pristine Pacific coastline, enjoy great weather, a plethora of outdoor activities, rich wild life and nature preserves, downtown wine tasting rooms, and the neighboring world class wine producing regions of the Edna Valley, Avila Valley, Arroyo Grande Valley, Santa Maria Valley and Paso Robles. For information on the wide variety of lodging choices, accommodating every budget and lifestyle, visit, and

Hot Summer Specials in Paso Robles, California

by Tina Swithin

Summertime is upon us and there is no place that I’d rather be than Paso Robles! Paso Robles is an idyllic retreat with countless activities for families, couples or good friends. Sip on Rhône varietals, amazing Cabernets and spicy Zinfandels in California’s fastest growing wine region, tee off at one of the state’s finest golf courses, dine on farm fresh cuisine and learn a bit of old Hollywood history at the world renowned Hearst Castle.

Are you sold yet? What if I told you that many hotels, motels and inns, ranging from boutique-luxury to family-friendly, are offering exclusive lodging deals and fun packages? Below is a description of Paso Robles’ summer lodging specials.  For more information on attractions, dining and lodging in Paso Robles, visit (more…)

Why the Paso Robles Festival of the Arts is Unique in the Art World

The theme for this year’s Festival of the Arts asks the question “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

IMG_1224For five years now, the Paso Robles Festival of the Arts has brought art to the public in an enormous, magical, energy-filled, and FREE event every Memorial Day weekend. By providing inspiration on how to approach your own wild and precious life through visual art, musical and dance performances, and even a musical petting zoo, the festival stands alone as an art experience for all ages.

Nothing within 200 miles touches this event in terms of the quality of artists, musicians and pure experience for attendees.  And it’s FREE to attend.

In addition to the magical main event that happens on Saturday, May 25th in the downtown city park, this year’s festival has acquired a stunning crop of visual artists, some who will display only during the main event, and some whose work will hang for a month at Studios on the Park. (more…)