British Columbia

Mannequin house party is the social distancing event of the season in Keremeos

A Keremeos woman has set up several dressed-up mannequins on her deck to bring a little fun and frivolity into the lives of her neighbours during the COVID-19 pandemic.

7 mannequins in evening attire are turning heads of passersby who spot them on Diane McDonald's deck

Diane McDonald (bottom) is having a house party but she's managing to maintain physical distancing because her guests are mannequins. (Submitted by Diane McDonald)

If you're driving along Upper Bench Road in Keremeos, B.C., you might be concerned by the lack of physical distancing at a property that seems to be hosting a party on its deck. 

But upon closer examination, you'd notice that the people on the deck are, in fact, mannequins. 

Diane McDonald dressed up the seven female figures and set them up on the deck of her unfinished home just before Easter as a light-hearted installation for passersby to enjoy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I thought that in these times we needed something a little frivolous and fun," she said.

"The girls," as McDonald calls them, are dressed in evening attire and some hold a half-full wine glass. 

The mannequin house party can be seen from Upper Bench Road in Keremeos, B.C. (Diane McDonald)

She said the response from the community has been marvellous. 

"People are stopping, honking [their car horns] and taking pictures," she said. "There are a few folks who think I'm a little weird, but I think weird is good."

McDonald has, in fact, spaced the mannequins out on her deck to account for physical distancing — even though "we all live in the same house so it's not imperative that we're six feet apart," she said. 

The mannequins are decked out in formal wear and hold glasses of wine. (Diane McDonald)

McDonald says she came into possession of the mannequins "some years ago," when she lived in New Brunswick. Since then, they've made appearances in theatre productions as props, and at a church service to honour a nun. 

"The girls have a lot of engagements," she said. 

Since she moved to Keremeos in September 2018, she hasn't had a chance to bring them out — until now. 

"I hope they're a small diversion for even a few minutes," McDonald said. "... if it's at the expense of [people] thinking I'm weird, that's just fine."

With files from Dominika Lirette

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