Whidbey is becoming increasingly popular with inflatable characters. First it was the Whidbey Island Chicken, a man in an inflatable chicken costume who came to boost spirits in Oak Harbor last year, and now there are reports of a shark, an astronaut and a unicorn.
Like the chicken, there is also a Facebook group for sightings of the mythical, one-horned creature. It has about 50 members.
Unlike the chicken, the unicorn is not shy about its identity. Katherine Young and two of her kids, Julie (the shark) and Jaden (the astronaut) are in on the fun.
“I do it to bring people a smile,” Katherine Young said.
Her younger son, Riley, has a genetic disorder and her family has danced around as the colorful characters to bring some enjoyment to their lives and others. He has also donned an inflatable costume on occasion.
Young is in the process of moving from Shelton to Whidbey Island. She’s been prancing around the island for about a month and has gone as far as Coupeville. This Saturday she plans to visit Clinton, Langley and Freeland to bring the magic to the South End.
In a stunning observation of evolution, the unicorn used to be a Tyrannosaurus rex. Young said she dressed up as the dinosaur in Bremerton for a few years. There is also a Facebook page for her adventures as the T-rex.
But that’s not all. In addition to the aforementioned suits, Young said she also has a velociraptor and triceratops. The latter is a bit difficult for her to manage though, since she’s only 5-foot-1, and the costume is well-endowed.
“It’s got a lot of junk in the trunk,” Young said.
Despite media coverage, Young said she didn’t know about the Whidbey Island Chicken until someone created the Whidbey Island Unicorn Sightings Facebook page. She said she will not don a chicken suit out of respect for the mysterious bird.
The chicken, however, knew about the unicorn.
“It’s pretty awesome to see people doing this,” the chicken said. “Looks like they’re having some fun and bringing some more smiles to the town.”
He added that he thinks he has a copycat (or copychicken?). Someone else must have bought a suit, he said, since he’s seen pictures of an imposter outside his normal free-range. Ever the diplomat, the chicken said he welcomes the company.
Young said she’s excited to live on Whidbey.