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Choklit Moose, Canada Games mascot, greets skaters

Those who braved the cold to take part in Thunder Bay's Winter Funday event this weekend were greeted by a familiar face.
Choklit Moose, the official mascot for the 1981 Canada Games in Thunder Bay, greets children attending a family skating event at Prince Arthur's Landing Sunday. (Adam Burns/CBC)

Those who braved the cold to take part in Thunder Bay's Winter Funday event this weekend were greeted by a familiar face.

Chocolate Moose, the mascot for the 1981 Canada Games held in Thunder Bay, took to the ice at Prince Arthur's Landing.

City recreation programmer Meaghan Shanks donned the iconic costume for Sunday's event.

"Some kids know I'm a moose, some think I'm a reindeer,” she said. “And then it's nice to chat with the parents, too. They usually know where I'm from and what my purpose is. But there are some people that are newer to town, so it's interesting to let them know as well.”

Jaden Niivila, 9, and his father Tapio were among a small group of Thunder Bay residents who braved the cold to take part in Sunday's event. (Adam Burns/CBC)

Frigid temperatures, along with a wind chill warning from Environment Canada, meant a small but enthusiastic crowd showed up. The temperature at the time of the event was a chilly –24 C, with the wind chill making it feel like –34 C.

"My eyelashes almost froze together," said Jaden Niivila, 9, who was there with his parents, Tapio and Heather, as well as younger brother Ethan, 3.

The wind and cold didn’t dull Shanks’ excitement to entertain others as the Choklit Moose.

"We're excited to be here, especially with the Olympics on the way,” she said.

"We thought it would be a good time to break out Choklit Moose ... and so we're excited to have him out today."

The city's Winter Fundays events continue every Sunday, from 2 to 4 p.m., at Prince Arthur's Landing, until March 9.

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