The Great Delta Bear Affair conducts various projects to raise awareness about the Louisiana Black Bear, as well as offering educational opportunities to children about Mississippi’s natural resources and wildlife. The festival’s planning committee also gives back to its supportive local community through beautification, donations and other outreach projects.
Each year the Great Delta Bear Affair plays host to a Chainsaw Woodcarver. This artist carves a 12 foot log donated by Anderson-Tully into a bear for the Rolling Fork Community. These bears have become a unique part of Rolling Fork. Since they are wooden and in the elements year-round, the bears require annual maintenance to keep them healthy. Donations are accepted to help with Bear Care. Mail any donations to: GDBA Bear Care, P.O. Box 214, Rolling Fork, MS 39159.
Teddy Bears for Kids
Each October during the week of the Great Delta Bear Affair, volunteers join with Teddy Roosevelt impersonator Case Hicks to donate Teddy bears to the patients at the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson. In character, “Mr. President” hand delivers bears to patients and visits with them and their families throughout the hospital and its cancer clinic. Since 2012, the students at Sharkey-Issaquena Academy in Rolling Fork have partnered with the Bear Affair to raise money for the GDBA Teddy Bears for Kids project.
Youth Education Day
On the Friday before the Great Delta Bear Affair festival, Youth Education Day is held for over 500 area fourth graders. School children are led through different stations where natural resource professionals engage them in discussions, games, activities and presentations related to wildlife, our environment and our natural resources. The Sharkey/Issaquena NRCS Soil and Water Conservation District partners with the Great Delta Bear Affair planning committee on this event.