Cady from Waterloo was one of the last participants to have her photo taken with “Mario Toad” on the Huron-Kinloss Ice Cream Trail. Photo by C. Pollock, supplied by Huron-Kinloss.
A sour incident has befallen the Huron-Kinloss Ice Cream Trail.The southern Bruce County township has been forced to remove the popular “Mario Toad” Street Sweets cone from the trail after the piece in Lucknow was vandalized for a third time.In one incident, the foam head, carved and painted by artist Kathleen van den Hogen, was partially removed from the metal “cone” base. The other two times, the topper was completely severed.“It’s a little disheartening that a few people – a few bad apples – are ruining it for everybody else who’s out there enjoying it,” Nicole Griffin, the township’s business and economic officer, said Thursday.“Overall, the reception on the Street Sweets has been fantastic and (the vandals) are not going to ruin it for me or anybody else who’s taking the time to go out on the trail.”The last act of vandalism happened July 19 and the decision was made to remove the “Mario Toad” piece from the trail. Instead, a panel with a photo of it will be set up in the front window of Armstrong’s Home Bakery.“At this point, not only is it getting ripped off, but then they’re kicking it or stepping on it. It’s just sustained so much damage that I can’t justify the guys continually fixing it and sticking back on the trail in the same spot just to have the same thing happen again. And because the trail stops are associated with a business, I can’t move it so far away from the business that it’s not logical,” Griffin said.“The community services department will repair the cone and we will have it for future events or use, but its time on the 2019 trail is done, unfortunately.”This is the ninth year that Huron-Kinloss has staged it summertime Ice Cream Trail, a photo scavenger hunt that takes participants to ice cream stops in the municipality.However, this was the first year the township had local artists creating the Street Sweets art pieces for the stops. Each artist designed a cone topper, using a blank piece of foam that was affixed to a metal cone base.Trail participants who take their photo next to all nine Street Sweets win a T-shirt and are entered into a draw for $250 in Huron-Kinloss dollars.The Street Sweets, which the township says have formed an outdoor public art exhibit, were installed within a week before the start of this year’s trail May 17. The trail continues until Sept. 30.Griffin said someone ripped the sprinkles off of another Street Sweet, but no other pieces have been damaged.Anyone with information on the vandalism is asked to call South Bruce OPP at 1-888-310-1122.More information about the Huron-Kinloss Ice Cream Trail can be found at icecreamtrail.ca.