Public ‘Running of the Goats’ Returns to Riverside Park Wednesday; Then They Feast


The face of determination, from the 2019 Running of the Goats. Photo by Mildred Alpern.

After a hiatus in 2020, goats are returning to Riverside Park this year to chomp their way through the park’s underbrush. A ceremonial “Running of the Goats” will take place on Wednesday, July 14, at 11 a.m. at 120th Street, with music and speeches from luminaries.

There will be 24 goats running down the path during the show, and deprived city children will get to see their first four-legged animals that are neither dogs, nor cats, nor rats.

The goats were a success in 2019, effectively clearing weeds and scraggly bits from the park’s hills, and they were a draw for locals in need of some encounters with the wild.

The ceremony on Wednesday will take place from 11 a.m. to noon, and will include the song “The Lonely Goatherd” made famous in The Sound of Music.

This year, five of the goats will remain in the park to eat the weeds, and people will be able to vote on the Riverside Park Conservancy website for which one is “best” — at being a goat presumably.

The candidates are:

Skittles, a seasoned park veteran, finalist for the G.O.A.T. title in 2019;
Buckles, a popular cheerleader for the Park, sometimes struggles to distinguish porcelain berry from mugwort;
Chalupa, keeps his head down, ate through the park in 2019, some say not exciting but works hard to get the job done;
Mallemar, known to be truly idealistic, a booster of all goats, lover of all park visitors;
Ms. Bo Peep, newcomer to the scene, a wildcard rookie.

ABSURDITY, NEWS, OUTDOORS | 31 comments | permalink
    1. S says:

      Please remove the word deprived. Most people who live in New York City are very very wealthy and have seen goats before. And for those children that are not very very wealthy they are not deprived.

      • GMB says:

        I feel deprived. Deprived of cute Goats. Bah!

      • Ms. Baker says:

        Oh for goodness sake get a life. Not everything has to be PC. My kids were definitely deprived of goat sightings till adults.

      • EdNY says:

        Do you realize that the vast majority of NYC residents live outside of Manhattan, and that the average 2019 income in Manhattan was $94K, a nice amount by hardly enough to qualify as “wealthy”?

      • M says:

        Very, very wealthy? Speak for yourself, S.

      • nemo paradise says:

        Readers will attack this comment for its sanctimony, and possibly its silliness, but will not consider the anguish that drives it. It is not a complaint, but a cry for help.

      • Nina says:

        Love the article – I needed exactly this humor today. I’m a pediatrician and approve! Gotta laugh!

      • dannyboy says:

        Writing “Most people who live in New York City are very very wealthy” put the lights on for me.

        Now I understand the WSR Comments.

      • Penelope says:

        Whoever wrote this comment that most people who live in new York city are very very wealthy lives in a bubble of Upper East or West Side or other wealthy districts, forgetting how many people today are food deprived, never living in poor housing, are homeless, go to poor schools etc. Getting to see a herd goats is exciting — for ALL of us!

      • EdNY says:

        Hey – I’m depraved on acount of I’m deprived!

    2. Mike says:

      This is a wonderfully written article.

    3. UWS_lifer says:

      It’s a shame that Cheech and Chong won’t be here this year.

      They were my favorites and I mean, who else do you want around when consuming weed is involved.:)

      Gonna keep an open mind about these new kids on the block though. Sounds like Chalupa has a solid work ethic.

    4. Sarah says:

      Yay, goats! Too bad this isn’t on the weekend so more people can watch, but I guess they’ll be around for a while.

    5. BigVic says:

      Awesomeness

    6. Suzanne Pederson says:

      Anyway to make cheese while they are in residence?

    7. Carol Demech says:

      THE PERSON WHO IS SO PC ABOUT THE WORD DEPRIVED NEEDS A PSYCHIATRIST. NOTHING WRONG WITH THE WORD DEPRIVED. I GREW UP IN NJ, WAS DEPRIVED OF MANY THINGS, AND DIDN’T SEE A GOAT UNTIL I WAS AN ADULT. IT IS ALL OKAY. PLEASE GET HELP.

    8. lucy says:

      i LOVE this. Telling all my caprine-deprived friends to try and go today. Thanks.

    9. Mary Pearson says:

      The word “deprived” isn’t the problem, but “rats” sure is.

    10. Jusy says:

      Go Mallemar!!

      • Michael G says:

        Mallemar the wise, staring into the middle distance, asking the tough questions, chewing the tough weeds. Mallemar the triumphant, bleating encouraging bleats, trampling the rats, ignoring the trolls.

    11. AK says:

      THIS WAS THE BEST DAY OF THE YEAR!! AND FREE GOAT FANNIE PACKS!! WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT?!

    12. AA says:

      Who will be picking up after the weed eating goats, the way owners are expected to pick up after their pets?

    13. John says:

      How come these goats did not run in the Democratic primary? If you ask me they have better morals then the folks that did run.

    14. Sonia says:

      The goats offer joy, bringing fans from all over the city and beyond. If your social skills are rusty, this is the place to chat with fellow enthusiasts!

      • Phoebe says:

        I’m definitely a goat enthusiast. People? Based on some of the negativity in here? Baaah.

    15. Rena Osdoba says:

      Are the goats still there? If so, how often and where do I locate them?

    16. Jane Hennigan says:

      Will u need a goat herder? If so, applying for the job.