Sports mascots from across North America to compete in Okanagan Mascot games | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Sports mascots from across North America to compete in Okanagan Mascot games

Edmonton Oilers mascot Hunter the Lynx will be competing in the Okanagan Mascot Games.
Image Credit: WIKIPEDIA/Russ Jericho

Shortly after the Edmonton Oilers finish this year’s playoff run, the team mascot – Hunter the Lynx – will be coming to West Kelowna for another competition.

But instead of cheering on the athletes from the sidelines the way mascots do – Hunter is gong to be in the thick of the competition, taking on his mascot peers at the Okanagan Mascot Games.

Many of his competitors will be from other sports leagues across Canada and the U.S.

The event will be recruiting much of its talent from the Southern U.S. where mascot culture is a big deal, according to OMG founder and president Cori Inman.

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One of the southern mascots coming to West Kelowna is Ringo, who represents the Texas Stars, the Dallas Star’s farm team.

“We’re keeping the popcorn far away from him,” Inman said after seeing some of his antics on Twitter.

The local events will also give youngsters the chance to go through mascot boot camp, where they can go through training while wearing the costumes.

“Nobody knows who you are when you’re wearing that costume – it allows you to entertain a crowd as somebody completely different,” she said. “You can really let your inner child loose.”

And while it may seem like a silly hobby, Inman said there are universities in the U.S. that offer full scholarships to mascots.

The Okanagan Mascot Games will be happening at the Royal Lepage Place in West Kelowna. The fun starts on July 18 with Mascotopia, and runs all week until the games on July 23 and 24. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dan Walton or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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