Puppetry museum opens exhibit celebrating mascots

In this Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017 photo, the costume of Jonathan, the Husky, mascot of the University of Connecticut, is displayed at the The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn. It is part of the exhibit "Mascots! Mask Performance in the 21st Century," of sports and commercial mascots opened this week and runs through Feb. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb)

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Those big furry costumed mascots that are staples at sports events and amusement parks are now the subject of a museum exhibit.

“Mascots! Mask Performance in the 21st Century” runs through Feb. 11 at the University of Connecticut’s Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry.

The exhibit features more than a dozen college and commercial mascot costumes, including the San Diego Chicken and the Boston Red Sox mascot, Wally the Green Monster.

mascot museum Puppetry museum opens exhibit celebrating mascots
In this Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017 photo, John Bell, director of The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, poses with items from the exhibit “Mascots! Mask Performance in the 21st Century,” at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn. The exhibit of sports and commercial mascots opened this week and runs through Feb. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb)

Displays also explain how the costumes are made and advancements in costume cooling technologies.

John Bell, the museum’s director, says the exhibit shows the place of masked performance art in popular culture.

Ted Giannoulas, the San Diego Chicken, says he hopes it also brings a greater appreciation to mascots as performance artists.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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