Secret decorator mulls seasonal surprise as minister seeks wreathed lion return

Lions Gate Bridge (CP).

VANCOUVER — The Richmond, B.C., man who admits to creating a beloved tradition in Vancouver hopes he can bring some holiday cheer to commuters, once more.

Each Christmas, for more than 16 years, Mauro Azzano secretly hung wreaths and bows around the necks of the huge stone lions at the south end of the Lions Gate Bridge, connecting Vancouver and the North Shore.

He had Transportation Ministry approval, but Azzano says he was asked to stop in 2011, because someone else was adorning the lions with inappropriate items.

Transport Minister Todd Stone says the first priority is ensuring safety on B.C. roads, but he has asked staff to contact Azzano to see if the seasonal whimsy can continue.

Azzano says the news makes him happy.

He says if he gets the official nod, he'll willingly resume his elf-like duties, but adds this year's decorations will be secret because he wants to surprise the City of Vancouver. (CKNW)

The Canadian Press

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