The Tomato

The Squirrel Awareness Month BBQ
The Squirrel Awareness Month BBQ. Image: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum

Events included discussions and a lip-sync contest!

All Interviews have been translated from Squirrelese, as they cannot speak human languages to English. 

Local squirrels came together at the University of Ottawa on Friday evening in celebration of Squirrel Awareness Month this October. 

Approximately 132 squirrels from across the Ottawa region hosted a gathering on Tabaret Lawn for the squirrel community, inviting other woodland rodents.

This year’s theme was “Finder’s Keepers”, and hosted several open-ended discussions of safety around scavenging in different environments.

The event organizer and Sandy Hill pioneer, Chippitz, explains the decision behind this year’s theme.

“Because so many humans have stayed indoors this year, we’ve found so many abandoned artifacts. Some are fascinating, while others are dangerous, like this thing called kombucha.”

This year’s turnout is significantly lower than in previous years, but that hasn’t halted the festivities.

“A lot of squirrels in my neighbourhood have been travelling a lot. Which is great for them, but it gets pretty lonely,” said Tutu, a grey squirrel from Orleans. “So it’s great to reunite with everyone.”

Some activities included a lip-syncing contest, electric scooter racing, and the crown event of the evening, the 104th annual acorn-stuffing contest. 

Participants compete to see how many acorns each squirrel can hold within their cheeks. There isn’t much of a prize, as bragging rights hold much more value among squirrels. Last year’s record was 15.

“Squirly Daniels has won the acorn-stuffing contest for the past three years. No matter how many she holds in her mouth, she can never shut up about it,” said Tutu.

Though the event only lasted a day, squirrels encourage everyone to read up on squirrel history and to be mindful of their local rodents.