There’s a new Duke in town.
While Ontario’s annual Royal Agricultural Winter Fair will be virtual this year, it’s not without palpable excitement. The buzz comes in the form of a Silkie Frizzle rooster named Duke.
He takes the reins from the 2019 mascot, Lil’ Ben, a miniature horse not unlike “Parks and Recreation”’s fictional icon Lil’ Sebastian.
What Duke lacks in pop culture connections, however, he more than makes up for in flair. The festive feathered friend has already provided plenty of inspiration for the fair’s adapted at-home butter sculpture competition.
With the fair going completely online in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the official mascot’s duties have changed a little. This year, Duke has his own official virtual pavilion where guests can watch videos and download Duke-themed colouring sheets.
He’s also responsible for officially opening the annual fair, and generally making people smile.
This year marks only the second time in its 98-year history the in-person event has been cancelled. In normal years, the event welcomes over 300,000 guests for an exploration of food, animals and other attractions.
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