Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Christ of the Ozarks statue
The seven-story Christ of the Ozarks statue located at The Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs continues to be one of the most visited attractions in the Ozarks with more than 250,000 people viewing it each year.
An hour-long celebration of this 50-year-old statue takes place at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29 at the scenic overlook at the foot of the Christ of the Ozarks, which is open to the public without charge every day.
Did you know?
– Every inch and ounce of the statue was built by hand; no segment was poured.
– The statue is made of 24 layers of white mortar on a steel frame. It was necessary to build an elevator up the side of the framework, which was completely surrounded by scaffolding during construction.
– The statue stands 67 feet high and the face is approximately 15 feet in height.
– The hands from wrist to fingertip measure approximately 7 feet.
– The arm spread from fingertip to fingertip is 65 feet.
– The total weight of the statue is over two million pounds.
– The statue is located on Magnetic Mountain at an altitude of 1,500 feet.
– The foundation of the statue required 340 tons of concrete interlaced with steel virtually welded into the rock of Magnetic Mountain.
– It was designed by Emmet Sullivan, an apprentice to Gutzon Borglum, sculptor of the Mount Rushmore National Monument in South Dakota.
“The Christ of the Ozarks turns 50 this year — 17 years longer than Jesus walked the earth,” said Kent Butler, a spokesperson for the Great Passion Play. “We are in the final process of the restoration effort for the memorial statue — kind of a face-lift if you will — in celebration of 50 years.” The restoration has been slow and tedious. The statue had several blemishes that amounted to deteriorated concrete, which needed to be removed, ground out, refilled with concrete, textured and painted.
The Great Passion Play will also conclude its 2016 season later that night with a performance at 7:30 p.m. with free tickets available for military (active and vets), law enforcement, police, firefighter, EMT, first responders and their immediate families. The Bible Museum, Art Museum, History Museum, and Holy Land tours also take place during that day.
Ticket reservations, performance schedules and special event information are available online at GreatPassionPlay.org or call toll free 800-882-7529.
The statue overlooks the picturesque Victorian village of Eureka Springs.