Why To Doubt The Attendance At Lizardpalooza



The chief organizer for the big-lizard-and-spider extravaganza was the person estimating the crowd.

So what kind of interest would Guy Laflamme of Ottawa 2017 have in seeing the highest attendance as possible?

Then look at the enormity of the numbers. The highest Canada Day estimate your agent has ever seen was 500,000 people in a year the Queen showed at what was then a National Capital Commission event. To beat the biggest estimated crowd by 50 per cent (Laflamme said the lizard show had 750,000 spectators) is pushing credibility. Ottawa 2017, a branch plant of Mayor Jim Watson and the City of Ottawa, says that 750,000 people in a city of about 900,000 went to the show.

Funny your agent saw a lot of people around town and a rather spectacular lineup at the Champlain Bridge who weren’t at the lizard extravaganza.

Who knows? Maybe there were 750,000 were at La Machine. But before buying that figure from organizers in whose interest is the highest attendance possible, a little critical thinking is in order.

Here’s what we know for certain. Laflamme doesn’t know how many people were in downtown Ottawa last weekend. Not unless someone was secretly selling tickets and counting the stubs.

How many people were at Lizardpalooza? Nobody knows.


Photo above: The La Machine lizard should really cut back on the jalapenos.

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5 thoughts on “Why To Doubt The Attendance At Lizardpalooza

  1. Some coaching by Jim might have occurred. He of the fantastic twitter number and to whom over $3 billion is not a big debt number. Politicians who do not know where parts of the city actually are, Kanata for example and who rarely visit the rural areas might be inclined to fudge the numbers. The rural population does comprise about 10 per cent of the 900,000. How many of the 90.000 would come to congested Ottawa to see the Lizard? So from 810.000 you now have 750,000. Hum. A bit of a stretch?

    1. Bruce,
      Speaking of FUDGE
      To any Ottawa entrepreneur, there may be a chance here for a patent, a trademark and a business venture.

      With a good marketing plan and a good location, one should be able to sell tons of
      “Official Ottawa Fudge”.
      – ” Choo-choo chocolate ” ( I am herein copyrighting that one – just send me my royalty cheques if you use it ) .
      – ” Attendance almond ”

      Other products could be:
      – Lansdowne lollies
      – Lizard licks
      – Orga orange pop
      – Plasco peach cobbler


  2. Of course Guy Laflamme’s method of estimating the crowd, as reported in the Citizen, was something to behold but your critique is equally flawed and your sarcasm is misplaced. You think the people living across the River weren’t interested? Notice a few tourists in town? 900,000 is not a valid base number. As well, many, many people saw the beasts more than once, of course. Whatever the number, the crowds were huge — larger than I’ve ever seen them in over 30 years in Ottawa. And yes, Piccolo Grande almost ran out of ice cream on the day La Machine roamed the Byward Market.

    1. I’m sorry but I’m unfamiliar with the ice-cream method of measuring crowds.

      Who knows how big the crowds were. Nobody knows. They don’t have ticket stubs or sold tickets.

      What I’m saying is we should have a critical mind when we address these things.

      Promoters promote. Can you rely on them for crowd figures that can’t be checked or maybe even estimated and it is in their interest to pump them up?

      Good grief. Is not a bit of skepticism warranted? Do we just take figures given us at face value?

      Come on.




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