Canada's capital may be a hotspot for political scandal and intrigue, but when it's not ground zero for shake-ups and shakedowns, Ottawa has trouble shaking its reputation as Canada's most boring city.
Enter 'Get Nipped': the brainchild of the Sparks Street business association, a group looking to infuse a little life into the well-known strip of bars and restaurants.
So, what does it take to "get nipped"? First, visitors must declare to their barkeep in a Sparks Street business that they want to "get nipped." Someone rings a bell and yells out "Here Here, we got a Nipper".
You then must down a nip of seasonal whisky, face the Canadian flag on the Peace Tower of Parliament Hill, raise your nip and recite the oath praising Nicholas Sparks, the street's founder, the beaver and the city for never being a "bore", according to the event's page.
Things wrap up with the kissing of a beaver, though not a real one (we imagine health code violations play a role here). A plush version of Canada's "hardest working animal" will just have to do.
“We’re trying to build this up as one of the three things you have to do when you come to Ottawa,” Les Gagne, the BIA’s executive director, told the Ottawa Citizen. “This is one thing we thought would be an opportunity to address this boring town syndrome.”
If the idea catches on, it could join rituals like "Kissing the Cod", a Newfoundland tradition where guests down a shot of rum, known as "Screech" and kiss a cod. Then there's the "Sourtoe Cocktail" in the Yukon, where patrons must drink a beer glass full of champagne spiked with a dehydrated toe that must touch the drinker's lips, according to 1310 News.
The idea follows up past efforts by the business association to jump-start interest in the area, including zip-lines, poutine festivals and even valet parking, the Ottawa Sun points out.
Will you be getting "nipped" or does the event sound more like a gimmick? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @HPCaTravel
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