MELITA — The Melita and Area Tourism Committee is excited to announce that "Sunny" is back home.
Following a refurbishment, the nine-metre-high banana is scheduled to be re-installed today in its place as a popular roadside destination.
The statue was first envisioned more than 10 years ago by the Melita and Area Tourism Committee to promote tourism in Melita and create an iconic monument for the town.
It was originally installed in August 2010, becoming a roadside attraction and the perfect spot to enjoy a banana split.
Following damage from a nearby fire in 2012, the statue was temporarily removed while it underwent extensive repairs by Calgary-based custom fabricator Heavy Industries.
Although the structural integrity remained intact after the fire, the shape of the banana needed to be recreated due to heat damage.
The entire sculpture has also received a fresh paint finish.
Employees from Heavy Industries will be arriving with the banana to install it back in place.
Made of EPS foam surrounding a steel structure, the statue is coated with a polyurea hardcoat to withstand Manitoba’s extreme weather and painted "banana yellow."
The banana is depicted holding a blue jay in its hand to represent Melita’s status as an Important Bird Area, or IBA, meaning it is a key site for bird watching and conservation.
The banana also sports a large belt and buckle, a fashionable reminder that Melita is the "banana belt" — Manitoba’s hot spot.
Since 2001, the Melita and Area Tourism Committee has been promoting tourism in Melita through various projects such as brochures, bird watching maps, Melita Banana Days (Aug. 9-11, 2013) and development initiatives.
The committee has been serving to promote Melita as the Grasslands Bird Capital of Manitoba and a town with "a-peel."