Kelowna city council floats ideas to nix image of 'lake monster' Ogopogo

Ogopogo could get the heave-ho if councillors in Kelowna, B.C., decide to ditch images of the mythical lake monster from its parade float. Photo by The Canadian Press.

Ogopogo could get the heave-ho if councillors in Kelowna, B.C., decide to ditch images of the mythical lake monster from its parade float.

A proposal for the city's new float stresses outdoor recreation to better reflect and promote the community.

A representation of Ogopogo, either a goofy one with big eyes or a menacing one with fearsome fangs, has appeared on the float for more than 50 years.

Ogopogo is a supposed sea serpent living in Okanagan Lake, and its legend goes back centuries to First Nations lore.

Its current image on the city float is well-travelled, with the float having logged 42,000 kilometres in the past five years and appearing in parades in 55 cities in the Pacific Northwest of the United and into Alberta.

But city staff believe it’s time for a change.

“To keep the float looking fresh and reflective of our vibrant community, an update is required,” reads part of a report going to council on Monday from event development supervisor Mariko Siggers.

Some of the four themes considered for a refreshed float emphasize culture, agri-tourism or outdoor recreation.

“Staff feel each option has a good story to tell but recommend that the Active by Nature option be pursued,” Siggers wrote.

Images on the float may include a lake and mountain landscape, along with outdoor recreation equipment such as bicycles, paddle boards, kayaks and mountain bikes.

“This concept is playful and will quickly promote our region as an outdoor recreational playground,” Siggers said.

If council approves a new design, it will take three months to build a float that would be ready for parades in late summer or fall. It would represent the city for three to five years. (Kelowna Daily Courier)

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