During our visit to Nags Head in late April, we were curious about the many winged horse statues found all along the Outer Banks. All were unique in color and appearance. So what was the story behind these horses?
Well, we started asking the locals about the history behind the winged horses, but not many people really knew anything more than that these horses were dotted all along the coast. That is until we stopped into the Visitors Center at mile marker 1 on highway 158.
Come to find out, the Winged Horse Extravaganza was part of the 2003 Centennial of Flight celebration brought to the community by CitiArtFX, a not-for-profit division of the Outer Banks Press. From May 2002 through October 2004, 99 life-sized fiberglass horses with wings were decorated and displayed throughout the Outer Banks.
Businesses or individuals purchased a horse, commissioned an artist to decorate it, and publicly displayed it for all to enjoy. In October 2004, an auction was held to raise money for the Corolla Wild Horse fund and other charities. Several of the sponsors donated their horse to the auction.
For those who are not aware, one of the largest herds of Spanish mustangs still remaining in the wild, are found on the northern shores of the Outer Banks north of Corolla. Thus, the art of combining horses and wings to celebrate the 100th anniversary of man’s first flight seemed appropriate.
If visiting the Outer Banks of North Carolina, have fun and see how many of these winged statues you can spot.
For more information about the wild Mustang herds, click on This Horse Link.