SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Jack Koehler thinks Springfield needs to embrace "The Simpsons" downtown - and cash in.
"I'd like to see Springfield promote downtown Springfield as Simpsons-ville," the owner of Sweety's Frozen Yogurt at 555 Main Street told KVAL News.
Koehler decided the lead by example: he bought a larger-than-life-sized set of Simpsons statues off the Internet and went to work sanding, repairing and painting the ensemble with the help of Fernando and Family Autobody.
"I'm just going to put them out here for the summer and let people enjoy them," Koehler said. "Hopefully people will come in and get some yogurt and take some pictures."
Koehler said the statues date back to the 2007 release of The Simpsons Movie. He said that to his knowledge, some statue sets were reclaimed by the studio; others were destroyed. The set he restored was the third he had found for sale online.
Media from around the world reported the news, contacting City of Springfield officials for comment.
Groening backed away from his statement a day later - sort of. He told TV Guide magazine Springfield was the name of his sled.