“Giddy-Up, Daddy” Statue
The Family Circus Pavilion is home to the “Giddy-Up, Daddy” statue. This popular and playful statue was built in honor of cartoonist Bil Keane who, in 1960, created what would become the nation’s most beloved and widely syndicated panel cartoon, “The Family Circus.”
Bil lived and worked at his home located just down the road, in Paradise Valley, from 1959 till his death in 2011. There, at the base of Mummy mountain, he and his wife, Thel, raised their five children and enjoyed all the Valley of the Sun offered. Bil always credited his success and good fortune to his fans, so he generously gave back to the community by donating his name, time and artwork for dozens of causes.
Bil was a four-time recipient of the National Cartoonists Society’s Division Award and in 1982, received the NCS’s highest accolade, The Reuben. Joining Barry Goldwater and Sandra Day O’Connor, in 1992, he was voted into the first class of Historymakers by the Arizona Historical Society. Then, in 1998, Bil became the tenth recipient of the Arizona Heritage Award as a distinguished individual whose accomplishments and commitment to Arizona are recognized worldwide.
After Bil’s passing, the town of Paradise Valley chose to remember him by creating this memorable 9×7 foot bronze. The statue, designed by his sons, Jeff and Glen, depicts the cartoonist himself giving his “cartoon” kids a horsey ride. The town and the entire Keane family is grateful to have it placed here, at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, where it can be appreciated by generations to come.
The shade of the Family Circus Pavilion is the perfect place to grab a seat and have a snack, or just relax while delighting in the “Giddy Up, Daddy” statue.
The Family Circus Pavilion and “Giddy-Up, Daddy” statue were funded entirely through private donations.
For more information about the construction and development of the “Giddy-Up, Daddy” statue or The Family Circus go to: www.familycircus.com.