Teddys bear down on Nevada City for this weekend’s convention
Bears of all shapes, sizes and colors are coming out of hibernation to make their presence known at the Teddy Bear Convention, says Mr. Ted d’Bear (AKA Charles Woods) of Nevada City.
Far from being scared off by this plethora of bears, people from all over are coming to Miners Foundry to see and admire them, buy clothes for them and even take them home (perhaps to have a picnic when the sun re-emerges).
The Swan Bros. Teddy Bear Circus will perform, along with musicians and singers, such as the students of Beverly Marks; Smokey Bear will pose for photographs. Dar Bennett will conduct classes in Teddy Bear making, and John Paul Port will appraise visiting bears as to their worth in dollars (but certainly not their value, as teddy bears are priceless). The convention’s producer, the American Victorian Museum Nonprofit Educational Foundation, will show exhibits of miniature bear houses. Oprah Bearfree and Maria Bearwater will also be accepting accolades from the crowds.
Bear artist Connie Alexander will answer questions about the bears she creates. Bear houses, one an 1840 antique from the United Kingdom, won’t fail to delight collectors and kids alike.
What: 23rd annual Teddy Bear Convention
When: Friday, noon to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Miners Foundry, 325 Spring St. (at Bridge St.), Nevada City
Admission: General $5, seniors and students $3, kids under 12 and all bears free. Good all days and for returns. Tickets at the door.
More than a hundred years ago a magical Bear, later named “Teddy” was born. The particular circumstances that created him quickly invested in him the power that continues to our own time.
The Teddy Bear is a symbol of power – the power of the small, an icon of strength through adversity, of unequivocal friendship and sweet intimate companionship found in no other stuffed toy.
Teddy is more than the collectible object he has become. He is a friend who never talks back, but keeps secrets. He never demands more than a hug. He is immune to fashionable trends in art, society and love. Teddy enjoys equally costume and nudity, and is supremely patient with our failings and shortcomings. He requires neither gasoline nor electricity to move about and little or any food to happily exist.
The Nevada City Teddy Bear Convention happens each spring when our plans, thoughts and dreams seek to come out of hibernation, as real bears traditionally leave their winter quietude. It is a time when we may feel that peace is an illusion, when we are in danger of being swept away into uncharted waters, and the Teddy Bear stands for hope and survival.
It is appropriate that artists who specialize in making Teddy Bears lead the festival. The event makes visible the power of the Teddy Bear. It signals a new beginning and the birth of a fresh innocence so appealing and necessary in our disordered world.
It’s fun, too, to become a child again, to see young and old in a happy place filled with Teddies, their friends, makers, collectors, fanciers, — and yes — fanatics. All those who feel the power of an idea set in motion by a magical stuffed toy – a Bear named “Teddy”
March 31, 2006
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