Bears Bees + Brews is inviting Asheville to get wild this fall. A celebration of wild creatures large and small, this family friendly event is noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1. This year’s festival is at Rabbit Rabbit, 75 Coxe Ave. in downtown Asheville.
More than a dozen wildlife, land and trail conservation and preservation experts will be on hand to answer questions and educate attendees on their work. Enjoy food, arts and crafts vendors, live mural art, kid-friendly games and activities, raffle and giveaways, a kids' art contest and more. Admission and activities are free.
Roni Hidalgo, festival creator and director, organized the first Bears Bees + Brews in 2019. After a hiatus due to COVID, the festival is back this fall with even more activities and community support.
A passionate champion of conservation, Hidalgo realized there wasn’t an event that focused on educating the community about the wildlife in Western North Carolina and how we can coexist with the creatures who are often roaming in our own backyards.
“I began this project to create events for the public to engage with experts and scientists in an educational and entertaining way,” she said. “Our goal is to provide a safe arena for families to have fun while connecting directly to policy makers to help create a world where wildlife and humans coexist with a changing environment.”
Participating nonprofit organizations include the National Parks Conservation Association, Defenders of Wildlife, Dogwood Alliance, Help Asheville Bears, Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards, Edith Allen Sanctuary and many more.
The mission of the festival is to create a space where the public can get answers to their wildlife and wilderness questions. They are encouraged to come out and learn more about these local organizations and "ask the experts."
Learn about critical initiatives such as Safe Passage: The I-40 Pigeon River Gorge Wildlife Crossing Project, a coalition of individuals and organizations working to make roads safer for both wildlife and people near Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Other festival highlights include a live mural painting by Ian Wilkinson, nationally recognized muralist and director of Asheville Mural Project. There also will be a kids’ art contest in collaboration with local schools. The finalists’ art work will be on display, and festival attendees can vote for their favorite.
The volunteer-run festival relies on donations, community support and sponsors. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, visit https://bearsbeesbrews.com and follow Bears Bees + Brews on Facebook and Instagram @BearsBeesBrews.
ABOUT BEARS BEES + BREWS
Founded by Roni Hidalgo, Bears Bees + Brews hosts events designed to bring wildlife and wilderness experts, advocates, and organizations together to engage, educate. and inspire the community. Learn more at bearsbeesbrews.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.