Music? Check. Games? Check. Food? Check. Teddy bears? Definite check. Dickson Store Museum hosted its 12th annual Teddy Bear Picnic last Thursday. Children brought their favourite stuffed animal to the event, where they participated in games, singing, and a picnic on the lawn, all with their toy companion at their side.
Museum manager Sharon Lightbown originally came up with the idea. When she first began her job, she was asked to organize some children’s summer events. The picnic was one of them.
She’s not sure where the idea came from, but said she used to dance as a child. One of the songs she danced to was Teddy Bear’s Picnic, and she wonders if the song was in the back of her mind when she was planning the events.
“It just came to me. I don’t think I ever read anything about it,” said Lightbown.
She describes the picnic as a family event, geared to children up to eight years old. The children play games, make crafts, sing songs, and go on a “bear hunt”. A sucker with a cut-out paper bear around it is a prize at the end of the bear hunt. Past years have featured a puppet show and a live play, said Lightbown.
“We just do different things every year, but a lot of it is the same and people like that and they keep coming back,” said Lightbown.
Families register in advance for the event. Lightbown said registration is necessary because the picnic gets bigger every year, and the museum needs to be aware of available food and supervision for the children. She estimated about 50 people were registered for this year’s picnic.
The picnic’s food is provided by local businesses, who sponsor the event. The menu included sandwiches, watermelon, homemade lemonade, gummy bears, and an ice cream cake for dessert.
Shaylyn Kettle, 9, attended the picnic. It was her first year at the event, which she said was fun because of its many activities.
“It’s awesome so far,” said Shaylyn, adding that she would like to return next year.
Shaylyn got her teddy, Dayce, a husky dog wearing a pink dress, from the Build-A-Bear Workshop in West Edmonton Mall about a year ago.