Did you know that it's also the 50th Anniversary for High Cliff State Park???... and it's Smokey Bear's 70th birthday!
They had a special "task" to ask of Steve for Saturday. It seems Steve is the only employee in the park that can fit a certain costume... hmmmmmmmm
(I am not allowed to post pics of him getting assembled into this costume,
but rest assured, it was a funny event----)
Meet------- SMOKEY BEAR!
The official name is "Smokey Bear" ..... only later when composing a song was the word "the" added in between to make the words in the song easier to sing.
(there are ice packs inside the suit that slide into pockets to help cool him,
and a fan inside the top of the hat)
HERE ARE SOME VIDEO CLIPS OF THE DAY
Smokey walked through the woods on the way to his birthday party.....
And once there, he was introduced as the guest of honor!
Some of the older folks even remember ALL of the words to the song:
The birthday cakes were served, with ice cream and drinks... and all the children and adults took part in wishing this very hot bear a Happy Birthday!
Many folks posed for pictures, and Smokey got a LOT of birthday hugs!
With the acting Park Superintendant Linda Guelig and Park Naturalist Cindy Mueller
Now.. I know there are a LOT of pictures here, but I could NOT resist... and had to post many of the good ones. Most of these photos were taken by our friend Craig as I was a bit busy to be snapping shots of the event. I was handing out pencils, coloring books, tattoos, posters and bookmarks. I was helping to coax the shy ones, and helping the gregarious huggers to take it a bit easier on Smokey. It was SO much fun!
Seeing all those smiling faces, and hugs from young and old alike. It really warmed my heart. I was so proud to be a part of such a great day!
Meeting and greeting all the guests at his birthday party
Group shots of families will make great additions to their family albums
So much fun, from the youngest to the oldest folks...
I am thinking that Smokey made a few new friends
Just look at those smiles! and oooh the High Fives for the ones who didn't want to hug
When these kids go back to school, do you think they will say they met Smokey?
Yes, Smokey Bear even assisted this gal in a wheelchair with pushing her over the uneven ground
and back to the parking area. What a thoughtful bear!
This passing car-full of kids saw him trekking across the parking lot on his way back to the office.. and they all piled out to eagerly pose with him for a photo opportunity!
And the last pic... as a very very hot Smokey Bear went back into the forest....
ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT FOREST FIRES!