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San Diego seeks a mascot to replace Bum and The Chicken

February 16, 2011 |  1:37 pm

San Diego boosters will say that nature gave the city nearly everything needed for a pleasant life: great weather, clean beaches, varied topography and 125 miles of separation from Los Angeles.

And what nature didn't give, the locals provided: parks, theatres, great Mexican food (the chips at El Indio being the best), sports venues and such.

The city even had its own mascot in the late 19th century: a Spaniel/St. Bernard mix named Bum who roamed the downtown. A picture of Bum has a place of honor at City Hall, and a bronze statue honors him in the Gaslamp District.

But Bum has been gone a long time, so an event-and-tourism website is holding a mascot contest, with entries accepted through March 21 at www.SanDiego.com/mascot.

"We haven't had a mascot for San Diego since The Chicken went rogue back in the '80s," said Victoria Stanley, creative director at the website. (The Chicken is a reference to a San Diego radio station mascot that, amid litigation, went independent.)

There will be four $500 age-group winners and, for the overall winner, a package of a weekend hotel stay for four, including dinner and entertainment. The package will be for San Diego locations, of course.

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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Bum, the San Diego mascot, circa 1885. Credit: San Diego Historical Society

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