EDMONTON -- Some massive rabbits were unveiled in downtown Edmonton Wednesday, part of an art display aimed at luring customers to spend cash at pandemic-battered businesses in the city core.

Wapos – Cree for rabbit – is a springtime celebration featuring more than 40 illuminated animals, nature sounds and a self-guided storyline.

It all weaves through Amiskwaskahegan Park (Beaver Hills House Park) on Jasper Avenue and it’s free to check out.

“We’re really excited about these instillations, and welcoming Edmontonians to come downtown in a safe manner,” Stephanie McCabe from the City of Edmonton said.

Wapos is part of the Downtown Spark event, which also brought giant human inflatables to parks and plazas, as a way to attract customers.

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“The pandemic has definitely impacted many of our businesses in our downtown and through our city in general, and the City of Edmonton is concerned about that and we’ve put an effort on that with our partner agencies to increase the vibrancy,” McCabe added.

The Wapos sculptures were created by Indigenous artist Jason Carter who had help creating the experience from Bridget Ryan.

Organizers said wapos (rabbits) were chosen because they represent “prosperity, abundance and good luck” and are known for their “wit and wisdom and of course, being incredibly playful.”

The event runs from March 25 until April 3. Wapos is free to attend but tickets must be pre-ordered to ensure physical-distancing safety requirements.

More information about Spark and Wapos and all of their participating partners is available online.