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No Ogopogo? No way, Kelowna council tells staff

Kelowna's parade float.
Image Credit: City of Kelowna
April 26, 2016 - 7:28 AM


KELOWNA - An attempt by staff to tinker with history — using something other than Ogopogo as the theme for the city parade float — has been sunk by city council.

In a report to council, event development supervisor Mariko Siggers suggested council update its message and endorse a float theme based on the the city slogan Active By Nature.

Instead of a version of the famed lake monster, the float would have showcased Kelowna’s athletic attractions, staff suggested, with bikes and paddleboards bursting from a lake-and-mountain motif.

Despite staff’s rationale, councillors lined up one by one to denounce the recommendation and get behind the float theme the city has used as far back as anyone can remember.

“When you said in your report you want to tell our story, well, Ogopogo is part of Kelowna’s story,” Coun. Maxine DeHart said.

Coun. Luke Stack said the buzz over the theme change had everyone talking about it.

“There’s lots of love for Ogopogo and the fact you have included him as an option shows it’s an important part of who we are.”

Coun. Ryan Donn was the most succinct.

“Keep it it simple and keep Ogopogo.”

Coun. Gail Given said to give up Ogopogo as a theme was to risk having him show up on another community’s float.

“Ogopogo is a Kelowna thing. We would be remiss if he ended up anywhere else.”

After council voted for to keep Ogopogo, Siggers told them a revised float would be complete for the 2016 parade season.

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