THUNDER BAY -- Maya Venn can’t even remember how many times she has gone to the teddy bears’ picnic.
All the eight-year-old knows for sure is that it has been a lot.
Maya and her six-year-old brother Clark were among the estimated 3,000 people filling Vickers Park Tuesday afternoon for the 32nd edition of the popular event.
While the teddy bears were the theme of the day there were plenty of activities for the children to enjoy, such as food, music, face painting and crafts.
There was one near-universal favourite though, and that’s what Maya was most excited for.
“I like playing on the jumping bouncy castles,” she said.
Those in attendance were blessed with sunny skies and ideal temperatures to enjoy a day that seems to get bigger and bigger every year.
City of Thunder Bay festivals and event coordinator Jean-Paul De Roover said the involvement from different parts of the community this year has surpassed what he has seen.
“The event has been expanding,” De Roover said. “This year’s event had more community groups than we’ve had in the past five years I’ve been running it.”
That the picnic is still a summer highlight in its fourth decade is a testament to the timeless nature of the bond between a child and their favourite stuffed animal.
“Most of us had a teddy bear growing up so it’s one of those things that’s kind of universal,” De Roover said.
The teddy bears’ picnic is the largest young child themed event the city hosts during the summer.
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