This morning I was at Saskatoon's Mall at Lawson Heights. It turned out to be a bad time for a visit, because the mall was host to a "personal appearance" by children's cartoon character Dora the Explorer. It was held in the food court, and the line of kids and their parents stretched almost the whole length of the mall. I hadn't realised Dora was so popular with Canadian kids. I'd bet there were a thousand people to see the character. I suspect there were probably going to be some disappointed kids who wouldn't get to see much if at all. Others were probably awful cranky by the time they reached the front of that line. And I'd hate to be the poor occupant of that giant foam Dora costume, who was likely stuck in it for something like 3 and a half hours. This was at around 10 o'clock by the way, and the appearance was supposed to last until 12;30, so I wonder if it wasn't even busier as the day went on.
I don't remember going to anything like that as a child in the early '70s. I have no idea how common things like that were then, but Saskatoon likely didn't see many of them in any case. The city was considerably smaller then. There were only two malls at the time. Stores didn't open on Wednesday afternoons. And there were a lot less popular characters to generate excitement amongst children because we had only two TV channels at the time, and cable TV was years away.