With the 2015 debut of the first full-length Peanuts movie in decades, this is the perfect time to celebrate the funny, touching, and loveable Peanuts cartoon characters by visiting their "home town" — Santa Rosa, California.
Created by the late cartoonist Charles "Sparky" Schulz, the Peanuts gang lives in our hearts and minds. Charlie Brown working up the courage to talk to the red-haired girl. Lucy pulling away the football at the last possible moment, or just being her crabby self. Linus philosophizing while clutching his security blanket. Snoopy flying his doghouse in a battle against the Red Baron, dancing with wild abandon, or simply being cool.
Schulz passed away in 2000, but his characters continue to charm us, and make us laugh. Nowhere is their presence felt more than in Sonoma County, which Schulz called home for more than 40 years. He moved to the town of Sebastopol in 1958, and settled in Santa Rosa in the early 70s.
A modest man, Schulz nixed the idea of sculptures of himself. However, he approved statues of his characters. In tribute, the city of Santa Rosa sponsored "Peanuts on Parade" art projects, in which local artists decorated five-foot-tall fiberglass statues of a single character.
Charlie Brown figures were decorated in the summer of 2005, Woodstock in 2006, Snoopy in 2007, and Lucy in 2010. In all, the program distributed more than 200 statues and raised more than $500,000 for art scholarships and to install permanent bronze Peanuts sculptures at three sites in town.
As a result, whimsically decorated images of these four Peanuts characters are scattered across Santa Rosa and its environs, tempting fans to explore the community that Schulz loved. Each individual statue has its own color scheme and personality, depending on the organization or individual who commissioned each piece and the vision of the artist who decorated it. Although they are privately owned, more than 70 are still in public view.
Find the Peanuts statues! Download this pdf with addresses and photos of the viewable Peanuts statues (list courtesy of Charles M. Schulz Museum).
This two-day itinerary takes you to some of the most memorable and entertaining of those images, along with places significant to Schulz. Be prepared to smile, to laugh, and to celebrate life through Peanuts.