The key facts you need to know here: the late Al Copeland was the fried chicken entrepreneur behind Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits. Was he the king? Definitely, at least according to his family’s plans for a tribute to him in the Lafreniere Park in Metairie, La. What they initially had in mind, however, isn’t quite to the taste of local officials.
Their first proposal included eight soaring columns surrounding a plaza, at the center of which was a pedestal, reports The Times-Picayune. And from that lofty vantage point, a life-sized statue of Copeland would be holding a box of Popeyes fried chicken and a checkered racing flag, with a speedboat at his feet.
The family is now in negotiation with local officials for something a bit more low-key featuring a stage for concerts, as well as an “arched entryway” and “a paved and brick walkway leading to the Al Copeland Memorial Statue.” All of which the Copeland family would pay for.
According to the park’s advisory board, it sounds like they found the first design a wee bit too ostentatious.
“Almost a Roman forum-type setting,” noted the board’s chairman, adding that the park doesn’t have any other statues. “We felt it was not in keeping with being complementary to the park and its master plan.”
The performance space is more to the park’s liking, as a non-profit fundraising group that works with park patrons suggested. The park had long wanted a performance space, after a storm destroyed the previous one, and officials suggested the Copeland name could be included on the stage’s proscenium.
As for a statue eating fried chicken, it’s unclear if that’s going to happen. Although, Al Copeland Jr.’s new plan for his father’s memorial does still mention a statue, even if the resolution in front of the parish board makes no mention of one.
“Based on design standards set by the board, the stage design and construction documents are in process,” he said. “We are currently working with Lafreniere Park for the design of the statue.”
Al Copeland memorial would be statue, stage in Lafreniere Park [The Times-Picayune]