Bears, lions and animals of all shapes and sizes, and almost all soft and cuddly, came out to play in Keremeos last Saturday.
Dozens of kids and their fuzzy friends made their way to the Grist Mill and Gardens for the annual Teddy Bears’ Picnic.
“These days are just always so special, having the kids come out and be so enthusiastic about everything,” said Chris Mathieson, the Grist Mill’s general manager.
The kids got a chance to run through the gardens, enjoy some games and bubbles, crafts and even take their stuffed animals for check-ups and repairs. The dedicated nurses on staff were even giving out shots to stuffies that needed them.
The day also gathered the kids together for story time with a book all about the bear – and bare – behinds you can find at the zoo.
A highlight for some of the kids was also the fun contests held by the Grist Mill, which included the biggest stuffed animal, the oldest and the best dressed.
This year’s oldest stuffed companion went to Ryder Mugford, whose 56-year-old teddy bear was passed down from his grandmother.
The other fun contest was to see who best could come and match their stuffie, a competition which this year saw a pair of Minnie Mouses and Pikachus, a boy and his bear matching from shirt to shoes, and even a pair of Def Leppard fans.
“I had five look-alikes, which is a big change from last year where we had one,” said Mathieson. “I love that people are really embracing these different contests.”
For families and kids that missed the picnic, the Grist Mill has something new for 2023, running day camps all through the summer.
Each of the six weeks will have a different theme with activities and the like to keep the kids busy.