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Alberta Premier Danielle Smith visited the Taste of Edmonton festival with the province’s donair costume on Thursday, July 20, 2023. Credit: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta

Albertans Love Donairs, But Who Wants To Dress Up As One?

An epic online auction for a hilarious giant donair costume owned by the Alberta government has bids soaring over $16,000
a picture of someone wearing the donair costume
The highly sought after donair costume that has received a bid of $16,000 as of July 26 on the government of Alberta’s surplus auction website | Surplus Auction

An exciting online auction is happening for a unique donair costume owned by the Alberta government. The auction started on July 14 with a bid of $50, and as of July 26, the current bid has reached an impressive $16,000 plus. The auction will end on August 14.

The Donair costume is epic, standing 1.4 meters tall and made of latex, rubber, and synthetic materials. It looks like a giant donair wrap with shaved meat, sauce, tomatoes, onions, and even lettuce. The costume also includes a silver body suit to be worn underneath.

The Alberta government originally bought this strange costume in 2015 for a traffic safety video campaign focused on the dangers of impaired driving caused by cannabis. However, the video production was later cancelled, and the government shifted its focus to other awareness tactics.

Many people are bidding on the costume for its novelty and absurdity. One bidder from Edmonton, Abdul Malik, plans to use the outfit for a charitable cause. He said, “I’m willing to eat the cost [of the winning bid]; I’m saying it on the record.”

The donair costume has gained attention in Alberta and across the country. Some people in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where the famous King of Donair restaurant originated, have expressed interest in bringing the suit back home to where the first donairs in Canada were made in 1973.

The costume was designed and created by a Los Angeles studio called Alterian Inc. The company’s owner, Tony Gardner, said they don’t usually make food costumes, but the donair suit was so unique that they couldn’t resist the challenge.

The costume’s origin story dates back to a proposed ad campaign featuring a character called “The Wise Donair.” However, due to concerns about its effectiveness and possible weirdness, the campaign was shelved, leaving the costume unused and collecting dust in a government warehouse.

Interestingly, during the auction, the Alberta Premier, Danielle Smith, made a public appearance with the donair at the Taste of Edmonton food festival. She even playfully interacted with the costume, adding to the excitement around the auction.

Blowers & Grafton restaurant in Edmonton is urging Danielle Smith to donate the proceeds from the surplus auction be given to an anti-impaired driving organization.
fisheyefoto | Facebook

Restaurants are among the leading bidders willing to invest a considerable amount to own this one-of-a-kind outfit. The costume’s high bids have led to some technical issues on the auction website, but the government is working to resolve them.

One restaurant, Blowers and Grafton, plans to hold a fundraiser to raise awareness about impaired driving while making the best use of the donair costume. They will donate portions of their donair sales to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

As the auction continues, many are curious to see who will win the coveted Donair costume and how much money it will raise for charity. It has become a fun and unusual event that has captivated people’s attention and brought Canadian’s love of donairs to the forefront.

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