Updated: Jul 27, 2020
As you make your way through Historic Boyertown, you’re going to come upon an unusual phenomenon. Every so often, you’re going to spot a huge, painted, fiberglass bear. In fact, there are over 70 (74 as of this writing) of these bears around town, named everything from Jingles and Bella to Gilbert and Huggy. The project was inspired by the original Cow Parade staged in Chicago and the donkeys and elephants spread throughout Washington, DC. Bears are the school district’s mascot and serve as a symbol to connect and develop community cohesiveness within the greater educational community.
The community art project known as Bear Fever began in 2003 as the fulfillment of a couple’s desire to promote the area’s artistic community. During the high school’s annual Art Expo in 2005, 37 bear sculptures decorated by professional artists and art students at Boyertown High were debuted. The sculptures were sponsored by various Boyertown businesses and professionals; student, parent and teacher organizations of the local schools in the district; and individuals who contributed in the spirit of community and cooperation. Over the years, the the program has more than doubled in size, adding new bears each year. A few bears have ventured and live out of the area sponsored by bear lovers and lovers of Boyertown who want to stay connected to their beloved community.
Viewing the bears on an art walk through Boyertown also introduces you to our delightful, historic town. Click on the Bear Fever map and locations chart (www.bearfever.org) and print them as your guide on the Bear Fever Art Walk. You can purchase a set of bear fever coasters and Bear Fever puzzles at Dancing Tree Creations and Studio B. An audio tour of the first 45 bears is available at Studio B or Building a Better Boyertown. Bear Fever is a community project initiated and coordinated by Mama and Papa Bear, Jane and Paul Stahl.