FAIRFIELD — It was a taste of things to come as Allan Witt Aquatics Complex mascots, Miss Alli and Mr. Gator, walked around the complex Saturday afternoon.
The mascots were a hit with the families, particularly the younger members who waved, hugged and high-fived the pair.
Employees of the aquatics complex take turns wearing the alligator-looking costumes.
Miss Alli and Mr. Gator — she wears the bright-colored skirt — gives the complex a fun atmosphere, said Charles Fahlstrom, who manages the pool. The parents also like the mascots, Fahlstrom said.
Until the complex opens daily, the mascots surface only a few times a day. When daily operation begins, they will be out walking around during recreation swim hours, Fahlstrom said.
William McDaniels, of Vacaville, and his daughter Ameerah McDaniels watched as the mascots circled the enclosed pool.
“I think it’s great, he said. “It’s a nice addition.”
He was impressed that children followed the safety rule of not running to greet the mascots. She liked both mascots.
Ryder Higgs, 3, got pretty close to the pair as his aunt, Tiffany Mickens, and his mother, Iantha Currie, held up the tot.
“They were awesome,” Mickens said. “I love mascots.”
“They were great,” Currie said. “I’d like to see them out more.”
Ryder gave his approval of Miss Alli and Mr. Gator with a wide grin after his mom asked if he liked the mascots.
Mickens, Currie and Higgs live in Fairfield.
Fahlstrom sees a variety of reactions to Miss Alli and Mr. Gator ranging from hugs to kids beckoning the mascots into the pool.
“I’ve seen some kids get scared and hide, then warm up,” he said.
Fahlstrom’s worn the costumes, too. His advice to those giving it a try for the first time: Drink lots of water and lay off layered clothing.
A stroll of about 10 to 15 minutes is about the maximum time one can play Miss Alli or Mr. Gator, Fahlstrom said.
The complex opened in 2010. The mascots followed about a year later, Fahlstrom said.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.