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July 8, 2009

Soles of the city

Giant shoes earn rave reviews at weekend unveiling

Haverhill residents got their first glimpse of the giant fiberglass shoes that will be placed throughout the city and most had only one word to describe each one of them — amazing.

Fourteen of the 15 shoes, all painted by local and regional artists, school teachers, and students, made their first public debut at the Fourth of July celebrations at Haverhill Stadium on Sunday night, receiving unanimous approval from spectators.

"They are so entertaining. Who knew a that a shoe could look like that," said Janice Clevesy of Haverhill.

The Merrimack Valley Federal Credit Union shoe was not on display because it will be finished later next week.

Rylee, 9, and Billy Amand, 8, of Haverhill enjoyed posing for pictures in front of the huge sculptures. Rylee said her favorite shoes were "A Weitzman Family Affair" by artist Elizabeth Persing and "The Pursuit of Fashion" by the Nordstrom Design Crew.

Grace Marcoux, of the Winnekenni Foundation, said the shoes were absolutely beautiful.

"It's one thing to see them in pictures but to see them in person is just amazing. They are so well done," Marcoux said.

Soles of Haverhill Committee members Tim Jordan and Leota Sarrette were pleased with the show of support from city residents.

"It's an incredible turnout and its so great to see the diversity in each shoe. The sketches all looked great but to see the designs actually on the shoes is absolutely amazing. They all look incredible," Jordan said.

Sarrette said most of the shoes will be placed throughout the city by the end of the week.

The completed "Weitzman Family Affair" shoe will be displayed in the atrium of the Hamill Lofts as it will be adorned with Swarovski crystals, emeralds, sapphires and ruby rhinestones and cannot be left outside. It was designed by celebrity shoe designer Stuart Weitzman and his family. Weitzman's father, Seymour, operated a shoe factory on Essex Street until his death in 1965.

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