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By Dan Rudy 

New bear decoration highlights Russian heritage


Dan Rudy/ Wrangell Sentinel

Larissa Siekawitch stands with the statue she decorated for this year's Bearfest. It was designed to resemble a matryoshka or nesting doll, a traditional toy from her native Russia.

As Wrangell gears up for its 7th Annual Bearfest next week, locals may have already noticed the festival's distinctive bears popping up around town.

Since its founding in 2010, each year a new plastic bear is decorated by a local artist to celebrate. The design styles have been distinct and highlight different facets of the community, from its school spirit to its marine life to its geography. This year's is no less unique, designed as a Russian matryoshka doll by resident Larissa Siekawitch.

Also known domestically as nesting or babushka dolls, the matryoshka are often brightly colored and...

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