The Wisconsin DNR Mercer Ranger Station and the Mercer Public Library will hold a celebration of Smokey Bear and the first Smokey Bear costume at the Mercer Community Center on Tuesday, April 23rd at 10:00am. The public is welcome to attend the celebration.
Mercer, Wisconsin, became the birthplace of the first Smokey Bear costume when, in 1950, Frank Brunner, Bill Carow, Bernard Klugow, Neal Long, and Ada Hart created the first walking, talking Smokey Bear for the Wausau Logging Congress Parade. That original Smokey Bear head has been housed at the Mercer Ranger Station, but will be moved to the Mercer Public Library to return to public display.
Smokey Bear celebrates his 75th birthday this year, and his message that “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires” still resonates with kids and adults today. Events honoring Smokey Bear and his message will be held across the country in 2019.
The April 23rd event is sponsored by the Wisconsin DNR’s wildfire prevention campaign and the Mercer Public Library. Refreshments will be served and students from Mercer School will hear more about the story of the first Smokey Bear costume and fire prevention information. The public is welcome to attend to celebrate Smokey Bear and Mercer’s role in his creation.
The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call the library at 715-476-2366.