Oh, bother -- Disney has pulled the plug on Pooh Friendship Day. Officials confirmed the hugely popular local summer festival, put on by the Walt Disney Company Canada and local group Partners In The Park, has been axed by Disney management.

"When this started it was supposed to be a one-time-only event," Partners executive director Donna Hicks said last night. "We've been very fortunate because we've had it four years in a row."

The event -- celebrating the spirit of friendship with Winnie the Pooh and friends -- kicked off Aug. 20, 2000, with tens of thousands of Manitobans taking in a performance by Celtic sensation Leahy at Assiniboine Park.

Friendship Day continued to be one of the most popular summer family happenings for the next three years .

Country star Michelle Wright took the Lyric Theatre outdoor stage in 2000, and R&B diva Deborah Cox appeared in 2002.

As many as 80,000 people packed the park for last year's frivolity -- which included autograph sessions with Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger and Pooh and many family oriented games and attractions.

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