Statue of Liberty to return to Lake Mendota

The original was in 1979, but Lady Liberty made a return in 2019 after 40 years
statue of liberty on Lake Mendota

MADISON, Wis. — The Statue of Liberty tradition is returning to Lake Mendota during the Wisconsin Union’s Winter Carnival on Feb. 3-9, according to a Facebook post.

The Winter Carnival is a free event hosted by Wisconsin Union Directorate and Wisconsin Hoofers to encourage people to enjoy the outdoors even in the cold.

The Statue of Liberty on Lake Mendota tradition started in 1979 as a prank by the Pail and Shovel Party, led by University of Wisconsin-Madison alumni Leon Varjian and Jim Mallon. Since then it had not been brought back, until last year.

original statue of liberty on lake mendota in 1979

Photo by Glenn Trudel

The Statue of Liberty is a to-scale, inflatable replica of the Statue’s head, arm and torch. The original was made of Styrofoam.

This just in: Lady Liberty is making a comeback on Mendota! Mark your calendars for Winter Carnival at Memorial Union on Feb 3 – 9. Stay up-to-date on our awesome events at