For the 29th time since 1985, the teddy bears will meet in St. Marys to catch up, play games, and discuss whatever issues teddy bears find pertinent.
The Teddy Bear Reunion, organized annually by Marlene Forman — who took over from her father — and her band of tireless volunteers, takes place on Sunday, Aug. 17. Everything gets underway at 1 p.m. with a parade kicking off at the James Street South parking lot of St. Marys DCVI. From there, parade participants travel north up James Street before turning onto Elizabeth Street and proceeding to East Ward Park.
Everyone is welcome to participate in the parade, but please note only stuffed “Teddy” bears are eligible for judging. Wooden, plastic or human teddies do not qualify, nor do pandas, which are not true bears.
Prizes this year will be awarded for “best owner look-alike,” the “best sportsman Teddy,” the largest Teddy, the best dressed for the season (such as summer and winter-themed costumes), best-dressed formal-wear Teddy, and the best career-oriented Teddy.
As in past years, the parade is only the beginning of the fun, as East Wark Park will be filled with fun for the whole family, including games, vendors, activities, and music to be enjoyed.
Always a popular attraction is the Teddy Bear repair booth. On stage this year, the musical entertainment includes a performance by local favourites Picks and Sticks at 2 p.m.
And new this year, there will be pony rides available in the Park.
For information, visit www.teddybearsreunion.ca or call 519-284-1390.
Teddy bears date back to the early 20th century. US President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, while on a hunting trip, refused to shoot a bear that had been tied to a tree by his staff as he deemed it unsportsmanlike. The press got a hold of the story, and a New York City toymaker began making a cute, stuffed bear, naming it “Teddy’s Bear.”