Wrangell’s third annual BearFest kicks off Wednesday and runs until Sunday. The festival’s organizer, Sylvia Ettefagh, said that when planning this year’s festival, she and the committee tried to include things for everyone.
“We’ve been on a good path of balancing out what workshops we have and balancing out that this is not something that’s simply about bear conservation, but it’s about bears, period,” she said.
This year’s schedule includes events ranging from games for kids to gun safety classes to scientific symposiums. The symposiums were designed by well-known Yellowstone bear researcher Lance Craighead and focus on reducing bear-human conflicts and on bear evolution and biology.
They’ll also offer very practical photography classes. “One of the photography workshops I’m really excited about is how to take photos with your iPhone because that’s becoming a big thing lately,” Ettefagh said.
Other activities include concerts by jazz duo Tuck and Patti, a salmon bake and dancing with the Alaska Native Sisterhood, free movies, and a marathon. BearFest schedules are posted around town or you can find them on their website.