Leif’s first sidekick

Diane
Diane Crocker
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14-year-old Aiden Mesher has lots of fond memories from his time as Leifling

Ten years ago, Aiden Mesher came home from school one day and told his parents about a new event in the Corner Brook Winter Carnival.

That year Leif the Lucky, the carnival’s mascot played by Dave Elms, was looking for a sidekick — a Leifling.

Aiden’s mom Tracy recalls she and husband Vince asking their outgoing little five-year-old if he wanted to enter the competition back in 2005. Aiden, then in kindergarten, said “sure.”

When the contest was over, Aiden had stolen the show and was dubbed the Leifling.

Now 14, Aiden can’t hold back from laughing when he’s asked if he remembers the event.

“It’s been a while,” he said.

Tracy said Aiden always enjoyed carnival and going to the events. Back then, she said, the kids day in the park was the big thing for children.

So when Aiden expressed interest in being a Leifling, his mom and grandmother got together and made him a costume — a fur vest, a belt made of rope, a Viking helmet, fur to go over his boots, fur mitts, a sword and a shield.

The costume is now in storage at the family’s Clarke’s Beach home where they have lived for about two and half years.

“It obviously doesn’t fit me now,” said Aiden who utters an “oh my” when told The Western Star dug out a picture of him in the costume from its files.

“That wasn’t yesterday.”

Related: Liefling name had its start long before the contest

As a Leifling, Aiden had to accompany Elms to carnival events and he definitely remembers what that was like.

“The part I liked (about) going around had to be the bus,” he said. “We were all together. And the fun part about the bus, the bus driver had a really fun ringtone so every time that went off we were all happy.”

He said being the Leifling gave him the opportunity, “To do things that I normally wouldn’t be able to do when I was not in the contest.”

And he had a favourite event.

“For a five-year-old, I really liked bingo,” he said. “It was fun. Leif would get the balls and I’d yell out the number and then whoever won, I’d go and give them their prize.”

After his reign was over Aiden never entered the contest again, but he kept attending the yearly galas to chose a new Leifling. He said he’s only missed one and that was last year.

Aiden said Leif’s sidekick needs to be outgoing and willing to attend as many activities as he or she can.

“They have to like eating, too, because there’s a lot of eating in carnival.”

Aiden and his family will travel to the city this Friday to take in some of the 2014 carnival including the 10th anniversary Leifling gala.

He’s looking forward to the event and reconnecting with Elms and his wife Sandra, a.k.a Mrs. Leif.

“He’s very comical. He’s funny. He’ll brighten up anybody’s spirit. Always fun to be around. The same for Mrs. Leif.”

Elms shares the same affection for his first Leifling.

“It didn’t take very long for us to realize we’ve got the right one here,” said Elms after that first contest. “Aiden was just so into it. He was so enthusiastic.”

 

 

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Western Star

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  • Vince Mesher
    February 18, 2014 - 07:00

    Aiden, loved his time as the "Leifling" and cannot wait to get back "Home" and see everyone. Tracy and I are so proud of the young man he has become since his time as the Leifling.