TORONTO – A wave of Bieber Fever swept through Toronto on Monday as dozens of youngsters poured into the Bata Shoe Museum to see the pop singer’s shoes enshrined.
Justin Bieber fans ranging in age from about five to 15 shrieked when the museum curator unveiled a glass case containing a pair of purple sneakers.
The shoes have been worn on stage by the 17-year-old heartthrob from Stratford, Ont.
The well-worn Supra Skytops join the museum’s collection of celebrity footwear, which includes shoes worn by John Lennon, Terry Fox and Marilyn Monroe.
Prior to the unveiling, the kids watched a performance by Landon Holmes, a 12-year-old Bieber tribute artist from Woodstock, Ont.
Holmes sang an assortment of Bieber hits and even pulled one girl on stage to serenade her and give her an autographed poster of himself.
The event marked the beginning of March Break for many of the kids.
Lara, 15, and Celeste, 14, wore Bieber T-shirts and purple 3-D glasses from the premiere of Bieber’s recent film “Never Say Never.”
The diehard fans said it was exciting to get a good look at the pop star’s shoes.
“To be that close is amazing,” Celeste said. “He wore them in concert.”
The girls have seen Bieber perform three times and are hoping to meet the singer one day.
Several boys were also in attendance, including 10-year-old aspiring pop star Christian.
“I like Justin Bieber and I like his songs, so I sing them pretty much every day,” he said.
He said his style, including his side-swept hairdo, is inspired by Bieber.
“I think I’ll become a big pop star when I grow up,” he said.
It’s the second straight week Bieber’s shoes have been in the news.
Last week, his former Stratford high school tried to auction off one of his Nike sneakers on eBay. School officials thought they had sold the shoe for $5,500 only to learn the winning bidder forgot to ask her mom if it was OK to make the purchase.
Teacher Keith Edwards said Monday the school has decided to put the purple sneaker up in a new auction.
EBay officials will go to Stratford Northwestern Secondary School on March 23 to help launch the auction that will run until March 30.
Edwards said steps will be taken this time to ensure only serious bidders who can pay for the shoe are able to make an offer.
“I think we’re back on track,” he said