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Alberta hamlet claims a cheesy first with orange-finger dusted statue

Cheetos makes its mischievous mark in Cheadle with an homage to Canadians' cheesy, orange-dusted fingertips.
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The 17-foot Cheetle hand statue--cheesy dust and all--will be on display in Cheadle, Alberta until early November. Photo: PepsiCo Foods Canada.

Driving east of Calgary this lovely autumn weekend, enroute to a fall fair in Strathmore and then onto the theatre town of Rosebud, I wondered where all the other traffic on the Trans-Canada was headed. It turns out many were making the pilgrimage to the hamlet of Cheadle, where a huge, finger-dusted Cheetos statue now stands tall on the grassy prairie--but only for a short time.

Alberta is no stranger to large, unconventional monuments. Hello, T-Rex in Drumheller, Pysanky in Vegreville and ring of kielbasa in Mundare, to name a few. Until early November, Cheadle, Alberta can claim its orange mark, as the Cheetos brand has chosen the town as home for its statue with a kindred name--the Cheetle.

Standing almost 17 feet tall, the Cheetle hand statue is of a hand proudly holding a Cheetos Puffs snack, with its Cheetle-dipped fingers boldly on show right in the centre of the hamlet.

According to a news release from Cheetos parent company Pepsi, Cheetos lovers are some of the most passionate snackers in the game, and they know you can't enjoy the cheesy snack without getting your fingertips a little —okay, a lot—messy.

"That's why the Cheetos brand is proud to unveil the Cheetle Hand Statue in Cheadle, Alberta—a monumental celebration of the iconic orange dust," said Lisa Allie, senior marketing director for PepsiCo Foods Canada. "Cheetos fans have always known the cheesy dust on their fingertips is part of the Cheetos experience, but now it officially has a name: Cheetle. We're excited to be celebrating Cheetle and Canadians' cheesy, Cheetle-dusted fingertips on such a grand scale and in such a uniquely mischievous way."

"Cheadle is proud to be home to the Cheetle Hand Statue," said James Gosteli, president of the Cheadle Community Club. "Where else could the Cheetos brand honour the iconic Cheetle, if not here? While our residents will be the first to see the unique monument, we can't wait for the rest of Canada to see it for themselves too."

It's not surprising to some as to why Cheadle was chosen for the cheesy honour. Years ago, Chester Cheetah, the Cheeto's mascot, said the dust that comes from Cheetos is called 'Cheetles'. The rest seemed a natural outcome, fans say.

Canadians have until November 4 to visit the Cheetle Hand Statue on 400 Railway Ave in Cheadle, AB and pay homage to their love of Cheetle and Cheetos snacks. Visitors are invited to share photos of themselves and the statue on social media by tagging @cheetoscanada and using #CheetleinCheadle and #ItsaCheetosThing.