New Yorkers got to see something rare within city limits Thursday: farm animals grazing on grass.
Thirty sheep were brought from Meadowland farm upstate to Bryant Park as part of the Campaign for Wool, an initiative Prince Charles of Wales started in 2008 to tout the advantages of sheep worldwide.
The event, advertised as "Woolen Wonderland," included a Plexiglas pen of 30 sheep and a wool sculpture created within the fountain. There were also information booths to explain the benefits of the wooly mammal.
"We have had a huge turnout today," said Tom Colyer, one of the event's organizers and the vice chair of the American Wool Council Industry. "The response of the New York residents has been incredible."
Colyer added: "The purpose of today was to raise visibility for wool as a fiber in all its applications. We want to bring the American sheep industry back." He estimated hundreds of people came to Bryant Park to peep at the sheep.
"My brother-in-law emailed me because he thought it would be a fun thing for my daughters and me to do," said Katie Greene of the Upper East Side. "I knit, so I wanted them to see the sculpture of wool in the fountain and see farm animals like the ones in their books."
While some visitors planned their day around viewing the scene, others happened upon it.
"We were walking through the park to grab coffee, and then I remembered I read something about it a week or so ago," said Steven Ouyang, 23, of Murray Hill. Mike Kelly, 25, of the Upper East Side, added: "I don't know exactly get what it's for, but we stopped by to check it out. It's funny to see sheep here."
T.J. Baright, another event organizer and the manager of the farm that provided the livestock, agreed the event was a success. "You would be surprised how many people don't know where wool comes from, don't know what sheep are," said Baright. "We just want to educate people and I think we did."