Ottawa Welcomes President Obama in First Foreign Trip as U.S. President

Canadian Tulip Festival Presents Tulip to American Embassy

Ottawa (Vocus) February 18, 2009

– U.S. President Barack Obama will make his first foreign visit as President on Thursday, February 19, spending the day in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city. Short videos of Ottawans welcoming the President and giving him advice on what he should see in Ottawa and know about Canadians have been posted at (direct link is

To celebrate the occasion, the local tourism industry has created several Obama-themed offerings, including:

    The Obama BeaverTail, also known as an ObamaTail. A BeaverTailTM is a hot pastry treat born in Ottawa. It’s made of wholewheat dough stretched into the shape of the tail of one of Canada’s national symbols–the beaver–then float cooked in canola oil and served hot with a variety of delectable toppings. Usually Canadians choose from a topping of cinnamon and sugar, chocolate hazelnut, maple butter or apple cinnamon but on February 19, the ObamaTail will be served with cinnamon and sugar, then a whipped cream “O” topped with chocolate sauce and a splash of maple. They’re $ 3.75 each at the flagship store in the ByWard Market neighbourhood, or $ 4 each at kiosks along the Rideau Canal Skateway. ObamaTails were also served to 1000 guests of the Canadian Embassy in Washington during President Obama’s January inauguration.
    A five-foot tulip painted (see photo at right) with President Obama’s likeness by Ottawa artist Jill Alexander will be presented to the Embassy of the United States by the Canadian Tulip Festival. This annual event in Ottawa is the world’s largest tulip festival and runs May 1-18, 2009. Similar large painted tulips decorate the major festival sites.
    A non-alcoholic Obama Hawaiian Punch will be served to all guests at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Ottawa Airport on February 19.
    An Obama-themed menu will be offered on February 18 and 19 at Graffiti’s Italian Eatery at the Holiday Inn Select in Kanata (west Ottawa). The menu features the Senator Obama Chicago-Style Omelette, the Barack Burger, the Inaugural Dinner Washington-Style and the Obamatini!
    And “Claudio the Soup Guy” at Muffins Plus in the World Exchange Plaza’s food court downtown continues to sell out of his President Obama Chili Soup. He’s been making it–and selling out–since President Obama’s election in November.

Ottawa is a city brimming with internationally renowned museums, cultural attractions, a thriving culinary scene and a four-season outdoor paradise for those who like to bike, kayak, canoe, jog, or skate! President Obama’s visit comes just before the final weekend of Winterlude, Canada’s winter celebration, which features skating on the frozen Rideau Canal, snow and ice sculptures, outdoor concerts, children’s snow playgrounds, and all types of outdoor activities.

Ottawa Tourism provides industry leadership and destination marketing to service the travel media and attract visitors, tours and conventions to Ottawa and Canada’s Capital Region. For events, restaurant listings, maps, hotel packages and more, visit

For more information, please contact:

Jantine Van Kregten    

Director of Communications, Ottawa Tourism

613-237-5150, ext. 116

613-866-4955 (mobile)


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