Birthday bash a ‘beary’ good time for Smokey Bear

Logan Paske gets a “bear hug” from 69-year-old Smokey.

Tristan Pozega poses with Smokey Bear.

Because of the high number of candles, Smokey Bear needed a little help from his birthday attendees to blow them all out. (Photos by Randy Paske)

More than 70 people helped Smokey Bear celebrate his 69th birthday at Wyalusing State Park on Saturday, Aug. 10. Smokey’s birthday was Aug. 9. Smokey led a parade of children and adults on foot, bikes and in wagons through the scenic Wisconsin Ridge Campground.

Following the parade, children were invited to have their pictures taken with the famous bear and played Pin the Hat on Smokey. Rachele Breuer delighted the children by reading “The True Story of Smokey Bear” from a large picture book. Smokey and the children gathered around a beautiful birthday cake, donated by Ma’s Bakery of Bloomington.

On the count of 3, they blew out all 69 lit candles and enjoyed cake and lemonade. Each child in attendance received a Smokey Bear canvas tote bag filled with Smokey memorabilia.

Smokey’s birthday party was sponsored by the Friends of Wyalusing State Park, Wisconsin DNR, and the USDA.

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