VIDEO/PHOTOS: A unique sign of spring: Hope’s Rambo statue back in Memorial Park

Communities in Bloom volunteer Victor Smith escorts the Rambo statue down Wallace Street on April 1. (Photo/Adam Louis)Communities in Bloom volunteer Victor Smith escorts the Rambo statue down Wallace Street on April 1. (Photo/Adam Louis)
Communities in Bloom volunteer Victor Smith escorts the Rambo statue down Wallace street on April 1. (Photo/Adam Louis)Communities in Bloom volunteer Victor Smith escorts the Rambo statue down Wallace street on April 1. (Photo/Adam Louis)
The Rambo statue was put away for the winter to avoid damage during the colder months. (Photo/Adam Louis)The Rambo statue was put away for the winter to avoid damage during the colder months. (Photo/Adam Louis)
Communities in Bloom volunteers reinstall the Rambo statue in Memorial Park. The statue was taken down in October to keep it safe during the colder months. (Photo/Adam Louis)Communities in Bloom volunteers reinstall the Rambo statue in Memorial Park. The statue was taken down in October to keep it safe during the colder months. (Photo/Adam Louis)
The Rambo statue was reinstalled carefully in a matter of minutes just outside District Hall on April 1. (Photo/Adam Louis)
A few onlookers gathered to check out the action as the Rambo statue unveiled last year is put back in its rightful place after a winter hiatus. (Photo/Adam Louis)The Rambo statue was reinstalled carefully in a matter of minutes just outside District Hall on April 1. (Photo/Adam Louis) A few onlookers gathered to check out the action as the Rambo statue unveiled last year is put back in its rightful place after a winter hiatus. (Photo/Adam Louis)
A few onlookers gathered to check out the action as the Rambo statue unveiled last year is put back in its rightful place after a winter hiatus. (Photo/Adam Louis)
John Rambo - or at least his wooden likeness – stands vigilant, overlooking Hope from his perch once again. (Photo/Adam Louis)John Rambo - or at least his wooden likeness – stands vigilant, overlooking Hope from his perch once again. (Photo/Adam Louis)

Traditionally, the first robin indicates that spring is on its way. In Hope, B.C., though it’s the sighting John Rambo.

Hope Communities in Bloom volunteers took Hope’s favourite vigilante out of his winter home and down Wallace Street. The wood-carved likeness of John Rambo stood tall on the forks of a forklift, model M60 gun firmly in both hands, eyes vigilant as Victor Smith drove the drifter down Wallace Street on April 1.

The statue was back at its perch near District Hall in a matter of minutes with a few socially distant onlookers taking in the sight.

RELATED: Hope’s most famous drifter is back in town, and here to stay

RELATED: Hope’s Rambo carving tucked away for the winter

Edmonton-based chainsaw carver Ryan Villiers created this red cedar tribute to Hope’s most famous blockbuster, “First Blood.” Villiers is also famous for carving lifelike statues of sportscasting legend Don Cherry and the beloved Norm from “Cheers.”

The statue and its placement was Communities in Bloom’s biggest project at $10,000 excluding volunteer hours and donated products (for example, the sling of bullets around Rambo’s shoulder are real and from an army surplus store). Two months after its late summer debut, the statue was put away for the winter in late October to ensure the cold weather and elements didn’t do any damage to the carving.

Hope Communities in Bloom extended thanks to Hope Towing for the winter storage and Canyon Cable for the forklift use.


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