For nine years, Leif the Lucky — otherwise known as Dave Elms — has had a sidekick accompany him to Corner Brook Winter Carnival events.
It was in 2005 that Elms and his wife Sandra, Mrs. Leif, launched the Leifling contest for children in the primary and elementary age groups. But the concept of a Leifling goes back further than that.
Daughter Jennifer was in kindergarten at C.C. Loughlin in 1992 when Elms took over as Leif.
“I kept referring to her as my little Leifling,” said Elms. “That’s where the name came from.”
However, it would be 13 years later before the name became a regular part of carnival through the Leifling contest.
“We knew how much the kids look up to Leif and enjoy having Leif come around. So we said, ‘Why not have somebody actually go around with Leif during carnival?’” said Elms.
Like any new event, Elms said they approached that first one with some apprehension. Ten children entered the contest that first year.
“When they showed up with their outfits on we said, ‘wow I think we’ve got something here,’” Elms said.
In the years since, there have been nine different Leiflings, some boys and some girls.
The 10th Leifling contest will take place at C.C. Loughlin on Feb. 23 at 2:30 p.m. All the previous Leiflings have been invited to take part and judges for the event will be former Leif Rex Brown, Janice Galliott, a 1992 ambassador, and Jennifer Elms, the “original” Leifling.
The deadline to register for this year’s contest is Friday at 4 p.m.