The Great Delta Bear Affair committee has made the decision to cancel the 2020 festival. While the Great Delta Bear Affair has been cancelled, and even though a traditional festival will not take place, some festival-related activities will still occur.
The GDBA planning committee had been going forward with plans in hopes that the Covid 19 pandemic would have played out by festival time. However, with recent numbers in both Sharkey County and Mississippi on the rise, it has become evident that this is not the case.
Teddy Bears for Kids at Blair E Batson Children’s Hospital has been an annual outreach partnership between the Bear Affair and SIA’s Beta Club for the past several years. Individually packaged teddy bears will still be delivered to the hospital for all the patients, but there will not be visitation this year.
Traditionally on the Friday before the festival, 4th Grade Youth Education Day is held in downtown Rolling Fork. This educational field trip provides students the opportunity to visit with and learn from professionals in the fields of safety, conservation, wildlife, and natural resources. But, this year, area teachers will be provided with packets of information and activities related to black bears in Mississippi.
Festival coordinator Meg Cooper said, “We already had a great theme and t-shirt design that we developed pre-pandemic; with only a few covid-type modifications, t-shirts, bears and posters will still be sold for 2020.”
Those items which could become collectibles, will be available for purchase at the Sharkey-Issaquena County Library by October 1.
“Festival patrons have been so faithful, and we have already received quite a few donations toward the festival,” Cooper said. “These donations will be used toward Great Delta Bear Affair 2021, which will be better than ever as we come back from this unprecedented moment in time.” Mark your calendars for October 23, 2021.