An invasion of giant chipmunks at the turning-on ceremony for Stockholm’s Christmas lights has shocked residents and city officials alike.
Instead of traditional decorations and a choir as expected, onlookers gathered to see the unveiling of the seasonal display at the city’s landmark Svampen (The Mushroom) on the first day of Advent were met with larger than life-sized characters from the Hollywood movie Alvin & the Chipmunks 3.
Even the city councillor who opened the proceedings was bemused by the presence of the singing rodents. “I was very surprised at the unveiling of the display, because in the application it was described as Christmas decorations,” Ulla Hamilton, city councillor for traffic, told trade paper Resumé. ”This was not at all in line with the permits we had issued,” she added.
Both the traffic division and the City Council have agreed that Alvin, Simon and Theodore were not stipulated on the permit, even though they were aware that the organisation planning the display was working with sponsors.
”City i Samverkan [the traffic division] has not been able to give me a clear picture of how it all got away from them in the end, but they were the first to express regret that something had gone wrong,” Per Anders Hedkvist of i Samverkan told Dagens Nyheter (DN) last Tuesday.
”They had a permit for a tree and four Santas. The chipmunks will be gone before the end of the week. We’ll put it behind us and continue onwards, as soon as the chipmunks are gone,” he said.
Also talking to DN, onlooker Anna said “I thought I was witnessing something historical. But all I feel is used and dirty.”