I can’t remember the last time I attended Festival du Voyageur. I must have been under the age of ten and I probably arrived there on a school bus carrying 40-50 other French-learning children. This week in my journalism class, we were assigned to take photos at the annual French-Canadian festival taking place in our lovely Winnipeg. I thought of M immediately. He would love the frozen maple syrup taffy, the French-Canadian music, and the ice sculptures, wouldn’t he? I decided to take him with me to the Mascot Challenge event that took place at Voyageur Park on Saturday, Feb. 20th.
As it turned out, I was wrong. M was wildly unimpressed by the Festival du Voyageur atmosphere and refused to give me the satisfaction of seeing him smile. He definitely didn’t want any frozen maple syrup either.
“I don’t want to be here, Becca,” he said, scowling. “It’s time to go home.”
When even mini donuts failed to cheer him up, I gave up hope. I told him we could go home and I resolved to take my photos another day. But just then, the Festival du Voyageur mascot Léo LaTuque came around the corner, signalling the start of the Mascot Challenge. M, suddenly smiling, ran to join the rest of the children in gathering excitedly around the big, colourful characters. Thank goodness for mascots.