For the first time since COVID-19 restrictions were launched in 2020, Strathmore’s annual Teddy Bear Picnic was once again able to be hosted.
Taking place Sept. 10, alongside the RCMP silent auction and the Farm and Flea market in Kinsmen Park, the event invited folks out for a fun afternoon in the park to interact with giant teddy bears, as well as to raise articles for a good cause.
Organizer Debbie Mitzner said she was excited to have been able to bring the event back to the community.
“We’re having teddy bears picnic in the park. It’s a fun free family event and we’ve done it yearly, except we missed two years for COVID,” said Mitzner. “And now, we’re back to business.”
The community was invited to drop into the park between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to enjoy treats, music and simple recreational activities.
The Teddy Bear Picnic also served as an outlet to gather materials and articles for the Wheatland Crisis Society and for the Wheatland Food Bank.
Mitzner said the event posed an excellent opportunity for people to simply get out of the house and enjoy their community, as well as to make meaningful donations.
“Living in community, giving back to community and just seeing that fun that everybody has nice to see people come out in groups, is an excellent motivator to continue hosting the picnic,” said Mitzner. “It’s a big hit, especially with younger families. Some people have phobias about the bears and the mascots, but that’s okay. They’ll be back next year.”
Mitzner estimated between the donations raised by the event for the various non-profit organizations it supports, over $1,000 worth of materials will have been assembled.
Since the picnic has begun to be hosted in conjunction with other events such as the Farm and Flea market, it has begun to experience even more growth and attendance.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times