After word spread on social media of people dressed as clowns lurking near Muskoseepi Park, a local clown has launched the #CuteClownCampaign.
The word “clownpocalypse” has been coined for the trend that started in the United States. It refers to people dressing up to scare pedestrians and children while sometimes carrying a weapon. Grande Prairie Hula Hoop Clown Amanda Syryda, also known as Mandi the Clown, decided she wants to stomp out the negative talk with positive actions.
“I get why people are scared of someone in a mask standing in the dark carrying a weapon but the fact that they are using clowns to make it that way, I don’t like it. There is already a terrible stereotype for people being afraid of clowns.”
Syryda says she goes to events where people are very vocal about their fear.
“I do the birthday party or the school gig and the kids love it! I am just trying to change the stereotype of clowns one appearance at a time.”
She thought of the #CuteClownCampaign a few months ago but felt that this was the perfect time to initiate it. There are also plans in the works to set up at the Prairie Mall.
Fellow hula hooper and Grande Prairie resident Natasha Braun says the trend does bother her because kids are taught to think clowns are positive.
“You have these creepy scary ones and it could potentially harm a child’s view on clowns for life.”
The mother also says kids in Grande Prairie need to trust their instincts when it comes to strangers wearing clown masks trying to be scary around the city.
“Some clowns are scary looking and if they are actually scary, you should probably stay away from them. If they are cute clowns like us, I feel like that is good and that’s okay.”
The campaign kicked off Saturday October 8th at The Space in downtown Grande Prairie.