Teddy Bear Picnic returns to Lake Ontario Park after pandemic hiatus

Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteers at the 2019 Tamarack Teddy Bear Picnic. Photo via BGC South East.

On Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022, the community-loved Tamarack Teddy Bear Picnic is back at Lake Ontario Park. Bring the family and enjoy children’s activities, local business showcases, and live entertainment.

“We have not been able to hold [the picnic] for the last two years, because of COVID. It’s a mix of happiness and relief to be able to hold it again this year,” said Kylie Filion, Supervisor of Big Brothers Big Sisters of KFL&A. “Happiness to bring this great family event to our community and relief to have this fundraiser generating critical funds for our free mentoring programs.”

The Tamarack Teddy Bear Picnic has been a Kingston tradition for over 27 years and is held annually as a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of KFL&A. According to a release from BGC South East, the day will feature bouncy castles, local business showcases, and crafts, and food will be available for purchase. The picnic will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lake Ontario Park. In the event of extreme weather, the picnic will be held at the BGC west end location at 1300 Bath Road.

BGC said that highlights of the day include the Tamarack Teddy Bear Parade and Dr. Goodbear Clinic for all teddy bears who are in need of some TLC. Three local musicians, including an indigenous group, a magician, and storytelling will keep children and families well entertained. The event will feature displays from Kingston Police, Kingston Fire & Rescue, and Public Works along with a variety of children’s activities provided by local community organizations.

Image via BGC South East.

“This year, we are seeing the highest level of need for support in recent years,” Filion stated. “We have received more referrals and family applications this year than in any other year since 2014. We know of our responsibility to continue expanding programs to serve more children in need and thank our community for keeping our programs running.”

The entry fee for the picnic is $5.00 per person. All proceeds benefit free mentoring programs for over 500 local children and youth in need of a positive role model to grow into healthy and strong young people.

According to the release, the event is made possible by the contributions of key sponsors, including Tamarack Homes, Coca-Cola Canada Bottling Ltd., the Kingston Construction Association, and Corus Entertainment.

Advanced tickets are now on sale online. Community members with advance tickets are asked to bring proof of purchase to the event to receive a wristband. Tickets can also be purchased on the day of the event upon entry.

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