SHOREVIEW (AP) -- This St. Paul suburb has named a shy, thumb-sucking, blanket-toting kid as its ambassador.
After spending $5.5 million to improve its community center, Shoreview will use a statue of "Peanuts" character Linus to get the word out.
Linus will make a rare trip out of St. Paul this summer when he comes to Shoreview in July. He'll serve as grand marshal in the Slice of Shoreview parade, dragging along his signature blanket featuring the center's sun symbol.
Later, city officials hope to see "It's a Waterful Life" Linus, who dons a tropical T-shirt, leave his summer perch in front of Lawson Software to take up residence in Shoreview as a tourist attraction.
About 90 Linus statues reside throughout St. Paul in the fourth summer-long tribute to hometown cartoonist Charles Schulz, who died in 2000. Statues of Snoopy, Charlie Brown and Lucy Van Pelt preceded Linus.
"We love the Linus because he resembles a lot of the little guys you see here. He makes you smile," said Ann DeBacker, the city's new marketing and sales manager. DeBacker was hired by the city to try to boost attendance at the center by 20 percent. She's hoping Linus will do the trick.
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