Norfolk’s mermaid mascot turns 20, celebrates with ‘trip around the world’

NORFOLK, Va. – With a birthday Tuesday, Norfolk’s mermaid mascot celebrates 20 years and is doing so by taking a trip around the world. 

Norfolk officials say the mascot wanted to celebrate not only with her friends in the city she represents but with others around the globe.

“Watch for Norfolk’s mermaid on social media with the hashtags #Mermaid20 and #NorfolkVA. She will be traveling the globe as a “mermaid in the mail” all year long and taking “shellfies” along the way. You’ll also see our mermaid making a splash around the city as part of the Virginia Arts Festival, during events at Town Point Park, in our libraries and recreation centers, and as part of a city-wide scavenger hunt,” said the city in a release.

The mermaid has been the official mascot of Norfolk since 1999. It was suggested at the time by longtime Norfolk attorney and philanthropist Pete “Uncle Pete” Decker. He credited his wife, Bess, with the idea, who drew inspiration from Chicago’s “Cows on Parade” campaign.

From Ocean View beaches to Wards Corner intersections to Downtown buildings, the original mermaid design launched a campaign that led to a sea of sculptures, each based on a template created by local sculptor Georgia Mason and customized by local artists and businesses.

Post to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the City of Norfolk’s #Mermaid20 and #NorfolkVA hashtags so she can keep track for her birthday photo album.

Kids can get in on the birthday celebration by interacting with the Mermaid 20 coloring sheets the City of Norfolk has. Kids can color and hang them at home, then send a photo with the #Mermaid20 hashtag to the city, or send her back to Norfolk for possible inclusion in a mermaid coloring exhibit.

Make sure the little ones include their name, age and city on the back, said Norfolk officials.

Check out the coloring pic for kids here.

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