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Monday, August 11, 2014

Smokey Bear's 70th Birthday Party and High Cliff State Park's 50th Anniversary

Steve has been a proud employee for the State of Wisconsin for 36 years. He has been with the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources at High Cliff State Park for the past 2 years now. Can you believe it's been 2 years already?

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.

I was dubbed "Smokey Bear's Friend" to help guide him around and hand out treats.  Those big heads don't allow you to see downwards towards his feet too well, and we can't have Smokey tripping over some little tot wanting a hug now, do we?

(there are ice packs inside the suit that slide into pockets to help cool him, 
and a fan inside the top of the hat)


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.... 



  1. Ha, that is just too funny! Steve makes a great Smokey Bear. Looks like he and everyone else had a fabulous day.

    Now Steve can remove that item from his Bucket List.


  2. That was wonderfully fun day for all involved, including the hot bear.

  3. I'm sure by the end of the day those ice packs were pretty warm and the batteries in the fan were losing power.
    Great job to Smokey for inspiring and teaching all those young attendees and bringing back memories to the older ones.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  4. Way to go Steve. Smokey is well known and loved by everyone. We got to visit the real Smokey's grave and learn his story in New Mexico. And it sure would be nice if more folks would listen to his message.

  5. I would have been singing along. I still know the words even if I can't carry a tune. Great celebration of a great educator.


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