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Bronze Willie Nelson Statue To Be Unveiled On 4/20

Willie Nelson’s timeless music has already ensured his lasting legacy. On Friday, perhaps with a wink to the date, he will be immortalized with a bronze statue in his likeness in Austin.

The date 4/20 is recognized in cannabis culture as a special date to consume cannabis. Nelson has never made his use of cannabis a secret.

The 8-foot tall, 1-ton-bronze cast will be erected in a public plaza along Willie Nelson Boulevard at the intersection of Lavaca in Austin. The statue was created by sculptor Clete Shields of Philadelphia. Shields worked with the Capital Area Statues, Inc. board to capture the essence of Nelson.

?Creating a sculpture of such an icon while he is still living presents its challenges,? Shields said in a news release. ?For many, the Willie they connect with is the Outlaw Willie of the 1970s, or the influential advocate for Farm Aid in the eighties, while others — especially a younger generation — grew fond of him during his more mature years. The sculpture needed to appeal to a broad audience and conjure up the fond memories of so many different people.”

The unveiling ceremony is a free public event that will include Nelson and possibly other respected musicians who will be performing later that evening with Nelson at ACL Live at The Moody Theater in a celebration of the music of Johnny Cash.

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell and members of the Austin City Council will publicly accept the gift of the statue on behalf of the city. A fan of Nelson, Leffingwell championed the honorary renaming of a portion of Second Street to Willie Nelson Boulevard.

?Willie Nelson has arguably done more to cement Austin?s reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World than anyone, so it seemed only fitting to rename the street in honor of Willie,? Leffingwell said in a news release. ?He?s done so much to cultivate our love for music, and the world?s love for our city. I?m pleased that CAST and Stratus Properties are helping us share this prominent and permanent homage to the ?redheaded stranger.'”

All proceeds for the statue and the construction of the installation area came from private donations.

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