CHEVY CHASE, Md. – A town in suburban Maryland is set to unveil a massive bronze statue depicting actor Chevy Chase during a ceremony honoring the seventy-five-year-old Caddyshack star next month, town mayor Barney Rusk told WTTG Fox 5 DC on Tuesday.
The highly anticipated ceremony marks the 50th anniversary of the actor’s week-long visit to Chevy Chase, Maryland, which, until 1969, was known as the Melonville Township. “On November 11, 1968, Chevy Chase saved the lives of more than four hundred Melonville citizens when he valiantly eradicated a decades-long rodent infestation from the Township,” reads a plaque located outside the Chevy Chase government center.
“We hope this statue will immortalize Mr. Chase in a way that honors his life and accomplishments,” Mayor Rusk explained, adding that the 204-foot statue was designed to resemble “a younger, more robust” version of the actor. Mayor Rusk said Chevy Chase is not expected to make an appearance at the ceremony. “However, his publicist recently sent us an autographed copy of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation which is currently on display at Village Hall,” Rusk told Fox 5 DC.
While critics point to the bronze statue’s $410 million price tag as a “prime example” of reckless government spending, many of the town’s residents vehemently disagree. “You can’t put a price tag on Chevy Chase,” Emma Henderson told Real News Right Now. City officials were able to cover a portion of the statue’s cost using “excess funds” from the public school budget as well as the city’s FEMA Emergency Fund, but the city council was forced to raise taxes to cover the rest. “Totally worth it after what he did for this town,” exclaimed Taylor Washington, a mathematics teacher at Bethesda Chevy Chase High School.
Some 20,000 people are expected to attend the statue’s unveiling which is scheduled for Sunday, November 11th at the Chevy Chase Circle. The traffic circle is a staple of the Chevy Chase community and sits on the town’s border with Washington, D.C.