Friday, February 4, 2011

Weird Winterlude Mascots Culled, Replaced By More Jovial "Popsicle Pete"

Ottawa - The 33rd Annual Winterlude festivities got off to a sombre start Friday night as all 28 of the odd, unidentifiable creature mascots were rounded up and culled in a move by the National Capital Commission to enhance the festival's image. The unknown and sometimes bizarre, furry animals were replaced by the more recognizable ice cold refreshing "Popsicle Pete", who skated up and down the frozen canal handing out free popsicles.

The NCC is drawing fire over the decision to cull all the mascot creatures, but many attendees are finding it a positive step, with most unable to relate to what some called "disturbing" creatures who wore toques and sweaters. "I didn't know if they were chipmunks, squirrels or some kind of hybrid lemming." responded canal visitor Katie Olack. "They were creeping my kids out and they started crying when one of these giant rodents in a sweater came up to them." Olack replied. "Now with Popsicle Pete, the kids are excited to get some Fudgsicles or a Creamsicle."

The former mascots are shrouded in mystery as to their origins, with some scientists speculating they are a rare groundhog/ferret mix. "We believe the former Winterlude mascot came from somewhere in Greenland, but are unsure, because their behaviour is odd and unpredictable." commented University of Ottawa zoologist Herb Niddleman. "They are probably inbred so many times that the eradication of their species will tremendously benefit Winertlude." Niddleton replied.

Popsicle Pete, a loveable, ice cold refreshing mascot of delicious frozen treats, was brought on board by the NCC to increase visitor traffic to Winterlude and hopefully rid the festival of its once scary mascot association. "Popsicle Pete will surely enhance the Winterlude experience for both young and old alike." championed NCC Chairman Russell Mills, who personally hired Mr. Pete after culling the previous creatures. "He's got lots of cool treats for the peeps!" Mills hailed as he skated alongside Mr. Pete on Dow's Lake.

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