Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl will be in Chelan Riverwalk Park for the annual Chelan Earth Day Fair on Saturday.

Decades ago, the National Forest Service wanted to impress on children the importance of sustainable living. The Forest Service concocted a child-friendly pitch involving two cuddly, conscientious and eco-minded creatures. Smokey and Woodsy are still thriving; in fact, the Chelan Earth Day Fair happens to coincide with Smokey's 80th birthday. (Be on the lookout for a supersized birthday card.)

The duo's Chelan appearance is expected to last a few hours on Saturday afternoon. That is not much time, but the pair will be kept busy by its youthful admirers - some of them dressed to the nines.

According to Robin DeMario, public affairs specialist for the Forest Service, "Kids will be able to dress in firefighting clothing and equipment to get a photo with Smokey and Woodsy."

Adult fairgoers clamoring for information on "trail work, wildlife and recreation" in the Chelan Ranger District can expect exactly that, says DeMario.

This is the 35th annual Chelan Earth Day Fair, which seeks to enlighten the public and hopefully convert some eco-skeptics. As always the event is coordinated by the Chelan-based Community Services Work Group.

A separate fair (also on Saturday) is scheduled for Yakima's Hubbard Park. From the looks of it Smoky and Woodsy will not be in attendance.

Earth Day 2023

Gallery Credit: Randy Kirby