BearFest promises full schedule of workshops, food, music and more

From Wednesday through Sunday, the schedule for BearFest is loaded with something for all ages, whether games and art workshops or food and educational symposiums.

Since the event is focused on bears, there will be bear safety classes, a look at the new Anan Wildlife Observatory for bear viewing, a history of bears in national parks, and bear conservation among other bear-related topics.

BearFest organizer Sylvia Ettefagh said in an interview earlier this month that the mission of the five-day event is to promote Wrangell, the environment and "a very important part of our environment - the bears."

The following is the schedule as of Monday.

Wednesday, July 27

Art Workshop: 10 a.m.

Nolan Center lobby

Art projects for kids and families. All supplies provided.

Bear Safety Workshop: 11 a.m.

Outdoor shooting range

Bear behavior, safe and effective use of bear spray and more.

"Beary" Pie Contest: Noon.

Nolan Center

Judging for the best pie made from local berries. Entries should be delivered to the Nolan Center by 11:30 a.m.

Symposium: 6 p.m.

Nolan Center

Lance Craighead: A history of bears in national parks.

Barrie Gilbert: How bear-viewing sites can advance bear conservation and community business.

Thursday, July 28

Art Workshop: 10 a.m.

Nolan Center lobby

Art project for adults. All supplies provided.​

Tree Talk: 1 p.m.

Nolan Center classroom

Elizabeth Graham (U.S. Forest Service, Juneau) on Western blackheaded budworm.

Cub Plunge: 2 p.m.

City pool

BearFest games in the pool! Open to the public. Children under 7 need a parent or guardian over 14 in the water. Non-swimmers under 48-inches tall need a lifejacket.

Symposium: 6 p.m.

Nolan Center

Shawn Crimmins: Is there bear hair there? Monitoring grizzly bears in Interior Alaska using non-invasive genetics.

Harry Reynolds: Relating the bears of northern Alaska and Southeast.

Tory Houser: Presentation of new Anan facility.

Friday, July 29

Read with a Ranger: 11 a.m.

Irene Ingle Public Library gazebo

Children's books with Forest Service interpreter Corree Delabrue.

Chili Hot Dog Feed: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

First Presbyterian Church

Donations accepted.

Native Stories and Dance: 4 p.m.

Chief Shakes Tribal House

Presentation of Tlingit heritage and culture.

Dinner and Auction: 6 p.m.

Stikine Restaurant

Gourmet dinner by Chef Eric Jackson of Seattle. Auction will include outdoor gear, handmade goods, seafood, fresh fruit boxes and more. Live music by the Banta Band. Tickets are sold out. Call 907-874-3006 to be added to the waitlist.

Saturday, July 30

Golf Tournament: 10 a.m.

Muskeg Meadows

Registration starts at 9 a.m.

Community Market: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Nolan Center

Vendors of local goods. Produce, handmade items, baked goods, art and more.

Kids Games: 11 a.m.

Nolan Center lawn

The famous BearFest fish toss, cub-o-war and more. U.S. Forest Service camp setup.

Cooking Demonstration: noon

Nolan Center

Jam Session/Music Workshop: 2 p.m.

Nolan Center

Jam session and workshop with the Banta Band.

Smoked Salmon Contest: 3 p.m.

Nolan Center lobby

Drop off entries at Nolan Center lobby by 2:30 p.m. for judging.

Marathon Pasta Feed: 6 p.m.

Nolan Center lobby

Pasta dinner for half- and full-marathon runners only. Attendance is not mandatory, but participants are encouraged to come pick up swag bags, check out the course maps, and receive information for race day.

Live Music: 8 p.m.

Rayme's Bar

The Banta Band

Sunday, July 31

BearFest marathon, half and 5k: 7 a.m.

Nolan Center

6 a.m., self-timed early start for full marathon only

7 to 7:45 a.m., full marathon, half marathon and 5K registration

8 a.m., half- and full-marathon races start


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