Big Metal Roadrunner – La Quinta, California - Atlas Obscura

Big Metal Roadrunner

La Quinta, California

A giant desert bird that once swung music fans at Coachella now has a home in a nearby traffic circle. 


A larger than life music-loving bird has found a nest in La Quinta, California. The giant roadrunner that made its debut at the Coachella Music Festival has flown a few miles west and landed in the middle of a traffic circle.

La Quinta’s big metal roadrunner started life not as a piece of public art, but as an installation at the 2014 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Sculpted by New Mexico-based artist Don Kennell, the roadrunner held a porch swing and invited visitors to rock and roll from its oversized beak. La Quinta Mayor Linda Evans, seemingly a regular Coachella attendee, saw the bird and was immediately attracted to the piece.

When Goldenvoice (the concert promoter behind Coachella) approached La Quinta about a four-year loan of one of the festival’s art pieces, Mayor Evans got behind the idea immediately. A year later, the giant metal bird landed at its new residence in the center of a rotary at Jefferson Street and Avenue 52 (but without the swing). Mayor Evans and La Quinta hope the sculpture stands as a testament to the partnership between the city and the ever-expanding festival, which has been a financial boon for the region.

Know Before You Go

The statue sits in the middle of the traffic rotary in downtown La Quinta, at the intersection of 52nd Avenue and Jefferson Street.

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