More than bear essentials at museum’s teddy picnic

Although every bear that ever there was might not have been at Warkworth and District Museum last month, nearly 70 very well-loved soft toys were out in force for a special Teddy Bears Picnic, as part of the Kowhai Festival.

From giant human-sized bears to the tiniest hand-held ted, cuddly toys and their owners gathered in the grounds of the museum to enjoy a range of food, games and entertainment. There were bear competitions, including for the oldest bear and the most loved bear, a teddy bear treasure hunt inside the museum, a teddy bear derby, plus traditional children’s games and activities.

Children were able to paint their own fence paling to go on permanent display and make teddy bear necklaces to take home, and a grand parade of all teds present took place, too.

There was also free entry to the museum and free chocolate teddies from Chocolate Brown, as well as a chance to have a ride in a fire engine or police car.

Museum manager Victoria Joule says the event was chosen specifically to celebrate the Kowhai

Festival’s 50th anniversary, as the museum used to hold a Teddy Bears Picnic for festivals in years gone by.

“I believe the last one was between 1996 and 1998, when Cheryl Clague was curator and Lois Burton was president,” she says. “This one went really well.”