Crete’s Birds of a Feather are about to flock in different directions—they’re being auctioned off.

The Blue River Arts Council and the Crete Fraternal Order of Eagles will host a Wing Ding from 4:30 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Eagles Club, located at 132 W. 12th Street in Crete.

Twelve of 23 3-foot-tall cardinal sculptures commissioned by BRAC will be live-auctioned to raise money for the group, which is working to renovate and reopen the Isis Theater and promote arts and entertainment in Crete.

“The cardinal was chosen as a symbol of vitality for our community and as the icon that truly brings us all together. The birds will be decorated in ways that celebrate the cultural and business diversity of Crete while confirming that birds of a feather flock together,” BRAC wrote on its website.

Shaylene Smith with BRAC said they saw the heart and hand sculptures in Lincoln, but they wanted to do a project that better fit the scale of the Crete community.

She said they got the idea for the birds from a fundraiser by a pet rescue in North Platte, which raised about $40,000.

Twenty of the sculptures were painted by local artists and unveiled at the Crete World Cup earlier this year. Eleven of them have already been purchased and are not available in the auction, but Smith said there will be a couple more coming.

“We have some surprises yet,” Smith said. “Twenty have been announced online, and three more surprises will be posted on social media in the next week or so.”

The birds already purchased were designed for specific locations.

“When we started this venture back in the spring, we did two sponsorship levels. Sponsors could pay $2,500 for it to be designed for their business, to be placed there from the start,” Smith said. “A second tier could put their name on the piece but not keep it, at $750. They knew they were just paying the cost of it.”

Bidding will begin at $500 for each bird.

The highest bidders will get to take their birds home that night or will have the opportunity to learn more about how to install the birds, if they need some time to prepare.

“They are designed to bolt to the concrete,” Smith said. “We have one of our sponsors working on a concrete base that can be purchased specifically for it,” for buyers who may not have a concrete area on which to place it or for those who want their bird slightly elevated.

Smith said additional items also will be for sale, including a quilted cardinal square made by local quilters and a large cardinal print that was donated.

“We also have mini cardinals coming that people can buy and paint themselves if they want,” she said.

The mini cardinals may be purchased at https://iconpolystudio.com/product/cretes-cardinal, with $10 from each one sold going to BRAC.

The public is invited to attend the Wing Ding to taste the chicken wings­—two wing chefs will compete, and more will be catered—and to see and bid on the available sculptures and other cardinal items.

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