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British townsfolk burn stuffed effigy of Palin

Folks in the sleepy British town of Battle, who found US vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin "too hot to handle," have burnt her stuffed effigy as part of an annual bonfire celebration.

world Updated: Nov 02, 2008 19:17 IST

Folks in the sleepy British town of Battle, who found US vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin "too hot to handle," have burnt her stuffed effigy as part of an annual bonfire celebration.

The unusual display was the climax of an annual bonfire celebration on Saturday in the southern town of Battle, where political figures are a favorite target of a local tradition that sees a different icon destroyed each year.

This year's creation was a rather unflattering depiction of the self-declared "hockey mom," a machine gun brandished in her muscular arms, bright red lipstick surrounding a grimacing smile and a moose at her side.

Amid raucous cheers, the 12-feet tall stuffed effigy of the U.S. Republican vice presidential nominee, a former beauty pageant runner-up, was blown up with fireworks. Daubed beneath Palin was the slogan: "Too hot to handle."

The caricature of the 44-year-old Alaskan governor was flanked by a smaller effigy of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, wearing a military-style helmet.

Organisers of the event, which saw a procession of flaming torches march through the historic town before igniting a bonfire and detonating the effigy, say the politically-themed pyrotechnics were not meant to cause offense, CNN reported.

"We just felt she was one of the most interesting characters in the American elections," Matt Southam told the 'Rye and Battle Observer.'

"It's tongue-in-cheek and she's getting more attention that the other two, so she seemed like an ideal candidate."

The event, believed to date back to 1646, has seen British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his predecessor Tony Blair go up in smoke in recent years.