Invite this rocking horse over for a Lunar New Year playdate

The Year of the Horse is now underway.

What better way to celebrate than by inviting an enormous, inflatable rocking horse to spend time at your home or business?

After all, many childhood memories are inextricably linked to rocking horses, which bring untold pleasure to millions around the world.

CIBC LunarFest organizers are offering a "playdate" next week for anyone who wants to host the giant rocking horse to highlight the annual festival.

They'll make sure it's inflated, so you won't have to do any work.

All you have to do is post your request at Facebook.com/Lunarfest.

But before you welcome the rocking horse over for a visit, make sure you have sufficient space.

It's six metres high, 7.6 metres long, and 4.6 metres wide.

It's even better if you have a pretty and memorable backdrop for the horse.

Mike Stevenson, head of the CIBC region for B.C. and the northern territories, announced at a January 10 news conference that his bank would be the first to host the rocking horse.

"We'll get that horse right out there in front of CIBC Commerce Place as soon as it arrives in town," Stevenson promised.

Sure enough, the horse subsequently appeared in front of CIBC's flagship branch in Western Canada in the heart of Vancouver's financial district.

CIBC LunarFest takes place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Vancouver Art Gallery from Friday (February 7) to Sunday (February 9).

The free event includes "The Meeting of Drums", a Dumpling Fest, Lantern Palaces, Lion Dancers of the World, games, and workshops.

There will also be opportunities for people to tell stories about their heritage, as well as about the importance of horses to human history.

"I will write my story with my wife pretty soon," Stevenson quipped at the news conference, "as long as it's relatively confidential."

CIBC will celebrate the lunar new year by handing out free horse lantern hats at its pavilion.

The bank will also give kids a chance to win one of 24 half-ounce Year of the Horse silver coins.

"For every child that opens a youth account, we'll start them off with a $10 deposit," Stevenson said.

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