Sigriswil on Lake Thun is throwing a giant party on August 17 and 18 to mark the 100th birthday of everyone's childhood friend - the teddy bear.This content was published on August 10, 2002 - 10:55
The birthday celebrations will be central to the seventh annual Teddy Bear Festival, which is this year expected to attract 100 exhibitors and some 3,000 bears of all shapes and sizes.
The highlight of the two-day event will be a birthday concert on Sunday afternoon, followed by the cutting of a special birthday cake, and the release of multicoloured balloons over the lake.
Bear lovers from Switzerland and across Europe are expected to make the annual pilgrimage to Sigriswil to view the latest teddy bear creations by Swiss and international toy makers. And for collectors there will be the opportunity to snap up exclusive or rare items to enhance their collections.
Makers of teddy bears will be able to stock up on materials and to enter their creations in a competition to be judged during the festival.
This year for the first time the biggest name in teddy bear production will have a presence at the festival.
Birth of teddy
The German company Steiff, which is credited with manufacturing the first toy bears at the start of the 20th century, will be putting on an exhibition to mark the birth and development of the teddy and displaying one of its earliest bear creations.
As in previous years, Saturday will be the main day for collectors, with Sunday's emphasis placed on family events.
On both days there will be a choice of workshops on aspects of teddy bear production.
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